Unnao rape case: BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was picked up by the CBI in the wee hours on Friday. The CBI will produce him before a special court in Lucknow later today to seek his custody.
BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar who is accused of raping a minor Dalit girl, was on Friday night arrested by the CBI after 15-hour long grilling. The action by CBI came hours after the Allahabad High Court reprimanded the police administration for its lacklustre attitude and made strong observations in the case. The HC bench of Chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice Suneet directed that the MLA should be arrested immediately.
In its 20-page order, the HC said that law and order machinery was directly in the league under the influence of Sengar. Citing the SIT report, it said that police and doctors were/are under the influence of the MLA. Besides, the SIT report explains how they tampered with evidence and tried to instil a sense of fear in the victim and her family. The court said that what is disturbing is that the father of the victim was arrested for no reason and he was brutally thrashed and later succumbed to his injuries.
The court had on Thursday questioned the state government over the delay in the MLA’s arrest. To this, Advocate General Raghvendra Singh submitted that Sengar would not be arrested on more registration of the FIR. The court took strong objection to the AG’s submission, saying it has shocked the conscience of the court and observed that unpleasant favour was extended to Sengar. Besides, it raised serious doubts on the honesty and sincerity of the police authorities at the highest level. The court said that arrest of Sengar in the circumstances can be considered justified and necessary not only to restrain his movement but to infuse a sense of confidence in the victim and her family. It said that the arrest would also restrain the accused from influencing the probe and tampering with evidence and witnesses.
In its order, the court directed that Kuldeep Singh Sengar and others be arrested under Section 363, 366, 376, 506 of the IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of POCSO Act. The court also directed that further investigation in the case within the stipulated time under the CrPC should go on. The CBI, its order reads, may also consider whether the cancellation of bail of all accused in Crime No. 0316 of 2017 is necessary for carrying out a free and fair probe. The court granted time till May 2 to the CBI file its response. The CBI was also asked to reopen the investigation of the crime (rape) registered on June 20 last year along with other three cases.
The court passed the order on a letter written by senior lawyer Gopal Swaroop Chaturvedi in which he had sought a court-monitored probe. Chaturvedi’s letter was treated as a PIL by the court. Meanwhile, the probe agency will produce Sengar before a CBI court in Lucknow later today to seek his custody.
Sengar was picked up by the CBI in the wee hours on Friday from his residence from where he was driven to the zonal office of the agency in Lucknow. The CBI also collected various evidence with regards to the two cases for which it has filed three FIRs. Besides, members of the CBI met the victim at a hotel in Unnao and recorded statements of her and the family. A separate four-member team later went to the Makhi police station where they took over many police records and documents.