The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed the CBI to arrest BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in connection with the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district. The court also asked the CBI to file status report by May 2.
The latest development comes hours after the four-time MLA was detained by the CBI for questioning. A bench comprising Chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice Suneet Kumar gave the direction to the investigating agency after the counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government informed it that Sengar has been detained for interrogation and not arrested yet.
Directing the CBI to carry out investigation strictly in accordance with law, the court told the agency to consider filing an application for cancellation of bail granted to other accused in the case. The bench passed the order while demanding a court-monitored investigation of the incident and treated it as a PIL.
The agency, which was referred the case Thursday, sprung into action immediately by re-registering the UP police FIRs and brought the MLA to its Lucknow office at around 5 am for questioning, officials said, adding that a team of officials would visit the scene of crime and question jail officials, police officials and family members of the MLA.
On Thursday, police lodged an FIR against Sengar in connection with the alleged gangrape after the UP government decided to hand over the probe to the CBI. Police charged Sengar under various sections of the IPC and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The FIR was registered days after the victim’s father died in judicial custody, with police arresting Atul Singh Sengar, the MLA’s brother, for allegedly beating him up.
The alleged rape case came into the limelight after the victim tried to immolate herself outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence on Sunday, alleging police inaction against the BJP MLA. The victim alleged that she was raped by the MLA at his residence on June 4, 2017 where she had gone with a relative seeking a job. In February, the girl’s family moved court seeking to include the MLA’s name in the rape case.
In her complaint, her mother alleged she had attempted several times to get an FIR registered but no action was taken.
After filing of the case, the victim’s father was booked by the police under the arms act on April 3 this year and was put in jail two days later. Subsequently, her father died in jail with post-mortem suggesting serious injuries on his body.
The Yogi Adityanath-led state government, which drew flak over the handling of the case, also asked the police to lodge an FIR against Sengar and others and had referred the matter to the Centre yesterday — a day before Allahabad High Court was to pronounce its order on probe into the case by the central agency.
A Special Investigation Team, investigating the case, had submitted its report to the government Wednesday evening. The SIT submitted a video that purportedly shows the girl’s father saying Sengar’s brother, Atul, assaulted him in police presence. On Tuesday, Atul was the fifth person arrested in connection with the assault that led to the death of the girl’s father.
With PTI inputs