Unnao rape case: Allahabad HC to pronounce verdict at 2pm today

SP workers protest against Unnao rape incident at GPO Park in Lucknow on Tuesday

Earlier on the same day, the high court questioned the Uttar Pradesh government's approach in handling the Unnao rape case, asking its counsel why the accused BJP MLA, Kuldeep Singh Sengar was not arrested even after an FIR.

The BJP MLA from Banagarmau in Uttar Pradesh has been charged under the stringent POCSO Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dealing with rape.

In his letter addressed to the Chief Justice, Chaturvedi had demanded a court-monitored investigation into the case and also into the subsequent death of the survivor's father in judicial custody. "The disturbing feature of the case is that the law and order machinery and government officials were directly in league and under the influence of Sengar", the court said. He was arrested after over 15 hours of questioning by the CBI.

The FIR has been registered under Sections 376 (rape), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her marriage), 363 (kidnapping) and 506 (criminal intimidation) at the Maksi police station.

Regarding the first FIR, where there is no mention of BJP MLA Sengar as accused, the court directed the CBI to further investigate or reopen the case.

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All this week, Kuldeep Singh Sengar has strutted around denying the accusation, disparaging the girl and her family and hitting out at the media in the Unnao rape case.

On Thursday, the court had pulled up the UP government over the delay in the arrest of the MLA.

Ordering Kuldeep Singh Sengar's immediate arrest today, the court rejected the contention.

The court had taken suo motu cognisance of the case on Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the brother of Sengar was arrested by the police.

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Kumar said the government chose to transfer the case to the CBI after lodging the case into the incidents of June 4, 2017, (alleged rape) and since the two other cases of April 3 this year (cross FIRs on the beating up of the victim's father leading to his death) are connected, they will also be transferred to the CBI. "I have come here because TV channels were saying I will surrender", he appeared to taunt reporters, insisting that he was neither a fugitive nor a rapist.

The CBI will investigate three cases filed in Unnao, 50 kilometres from state capital Lucknow.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also taken cognizance of the case and said that the allegations, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim's family. The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would hear the plea which has also alleged that the rape victim's father was tortured and killed in the police custody at the behest of the "ruling party" in the state.

It may be noted that the case has been handed over to the CBI, while a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Lucknow zone police is also investigating it.

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