SC transfers Unnao case to Delhi, orders CBI to complete probe in 7 days

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: August 1, 2019
The Supreme Court has transferred four trials in connection with the Unnao rape case out of Uttar Pradesh. The trials will now take place in Delhi. Additionally, the apex court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that is probing the matter of the road crash that killed the rape survivor’s two aunts, and left her as well as her lawyer battling for their lives, to complete its investigation within a week.

Unnao Rape Case
Image Courtesy: Reuters

The SC has also directed that the trials be conducted on a day-to-day basis and be concluded within 45 days. Additionally, interim compensation of Rs 25 lakhs is to be paid to the survivor. The court has also directed that she and her lawyer be provided security by CRPF personnel.

The four related cases are as follows:
  • The first instance of rape where disgraced BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar is the key accused
  • The gangrape of the survivor by Sengar’s henchmen a week after the first rape
  • An Arms Act case slapped on the survivor’s father
  • The case of his custodial death

The fifth investigation began after the vehicle in which the survivor was travelling with her lawyer and aunt was crushed by a truck. It is alleged that this was an attempt by Sengar to silence the survivor for ever. While the lawyer and her aunt were killed in the crash, the survivor is admitted to the King George Memorial Hospital in Lucknow where she is said to be in critical condition and on ventilator. The press release by Sadeep Tiwari from the hospital’s media cell may be viewed here:

This transfer is significant as the family fears that they will not receive justice under the Adityanath led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh. Their fear is the result of the impunity with which Sengar was able to operate. In fact, the first time there was some semblance of justice was when the Allahabad High Court directed the CBI to arrest Sengar in April 2018. A brief timeline of the Unnao case may be viewed here

It is still being debated if the survivor and her lawyer are strong enough to be transferred to a medical facility in Delhi. In fact the SC has directed the counsel for the survivor to seek opinion of the survivor's family about shifting her. Similarly the amicus curae has been directed to seek opinion of the lawyer's family.

Meanwhile, after much dilly-dallying, the BJP finally expelled Sengar on August 1. But it remains to be seen if the party is merely getting rid of political deadweight or if this is just a publicity stunt and Sengar will continue to enjoy the patronage of his political masters covertly.