Updated: September 7, 2019 6:19:44 am
The Supreme Court on Friday gave the CBI two more weeks to complete the probe in the road accident case involving the Unnao rape victim and for filing a chargesheet in the gangrape case lodged by her mother.
The top court also gave the sessions judge, to whom it had transferred the five cases related to the rape victim, more time as sought by him to complete the trial.
In a report to the bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, the judge had sought separate period of extension in each of the cases. Accepting this, the Supreme Court said the sessions judge “has acted with great efficiency and alacrity” and that he may approach it again “if he finds it realistically impossible to complete (trial) even in extended time”.
The trial court judge conveyed to the top court that it had written to the Delhi High Court seeking permission to hold court in AIIMS, New Delhi, to examine the rape victim. On this, the bench asked the High Court to take a decision at the earliest.
The counsel for the accused, meanwhile, told the court that he wanted to confront the prosecution witnesses in the rape case with their statements in the gangrape case and this will be possible only when the chargesheet in the latter case is filed.
Taking note, the bench asked the trial court to defer cross-examination of the witnesses in the rape case until the chargesheet in the gangrape case is filed. Later, it clarified that it will be up to the trial judge to decide if such confrontation or any witness was necessary.
Justice Gupta observed that it will be better to give the time than pave the way for an acquittal on technical grounds. “We know these are emotive issues… But we have to be practical also,” added Justice Gupta.
The road accident left the girl and her lawyer critically injured and her two aunts dead.
Expressing strong displeasure over the handling of the Unnao rape case and the accident, the top court had on August 1 transferred all cases related to the matter from Uttar Pradesh to the court of District Judge Dharmesh Sharma in Tis Hazari here.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who represents Bangarmau in the UP Assembly, is an accused in the rape case and has been booked for murder in the accident case. After the row erupted, the BJP announced it had expelled him from the party.
The bench also directed on August 1 that “the trial judge… will commence the trial forthwith on a day-to-day basis and will ensure completion of trial of all the five cases within 45 days from commencement of the trial”.
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