BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a four-time legislator who represents Bangermau in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, allegedly raped 17-year-old girl in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh Unnao on June 4, 2017.
Unnao Rape Case Timeline
Following is the timeline of events in the Unnao rape case in which the Supreme Court directed the transfer of all five cases registered in connection with the brutal rape from a court in Uttar Pradesh to a court in Delhi.
June 4, 2017: 17-year-old girl allegedly raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a four-time legislator who represents Bangermau in the UP Assembly.
April 3, 2018: The victim’s father was beaten up by some people allegedly on the order of Sengar and arrested along with them under the Arms Act.
April 8: The victim tried to kill herself outside CM Yogi Adityanath‘s residence, alleging police inaction, after which the incident came to light.
April 9: The victim’s father died in custody allegedly owing to police torture after he was arrested.
Apr 13: Sengar arrested.
Dec: FIR lodged against the victim and her family for allegedly submitting forged age proof to show her as minor at the time of the incident.
July 4, 2019: The victim’s uncle convicted in a 19-year-old case and sentenced to 10 years jail term on a case filed by Sengar’s brother, Atul Singh.
July 17: The victim and her family wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi expressing threat to their lives allegedly by Sengar and his people.
July 28: An over-speeding truck rammed into the car in which the victim, her family and her lawyer were travelling, killing her two aunts, leaving the victim and the advocate critically injured.
July 29: FIR registered, against Sengar and 9 others at Gurubuxganj police station in Raebareli in connection with the road accident.
July 30: The victim’s letter to Chief Justice of India came to light.
July 31: SC took cognisance of the letter, sought a report from its secretary general on delay in placing it before the bench.
August 1: SC directed transfer of all five cases registered in connection with the incident from a court in Uttar Pradesh to a court in the national capital.
What went wrong in Unnao Rape Case?
Unfortunately, the trial in the Unnao rape case did not move an inch for over a year in Uttar Pradesh, when it should have been fast-tracked on two counts: one, it is a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) case and two, the main accused is a legislator.
Though the CBI filed a charge sheet against MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on July 11, 2018, citing 65 witnesses and call details of 24 people, and the court took cognisance of it six days later, the trial did not begin. That was because of indecision over which court would try the case: the POCSO court, the CBI court or another special court.
The Supreme Court in an order in 2017 said all cases against MLAs and MPs be decided within one year and ordered special courts to be set up to try them. Both these stipulations have not been met in the Unnao case. Secondly, in the special CBI court where the charge sheet was filed, Judge Vatsal Shrivastava got transferred out on May 30 and the new judge in his place was still to hear the matter.
The CBI said Sengar being set on bail could lead him to influence witnesses. Another accused, Shashi Singh, who allegedly lured the girl to Sengar’s house, filed a bail plea saying the CBI had delayed filing the charge sheet, but it was rejected too.
The victim’s family wrote many letters to the police and administrative authorities over the last few months complaining of threats from Sengar’s alleged henchmen but no action was taken to protect them. The UP Police and the CBI kept playing the blame game over addressing the complaints and protecting the witnesses.
The UP Police suspended three policemen who were assigned to guard the girl but had not accompanied her at the time when a truck hit the car she was travelling in.
The IG in charge of Unnao had also marked a high-level inquiry into why the multiple complaints were not acted upon.
The CBI charge-sheeted local policemen for arresting the girl’s father in an allegedly false arms case who later died in custody. The family then hoped that the case would be fast-tracked in Delhi.
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