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Thursday 2 April 2020

Family of Unnao rape survivor free to move her to AIIMS from Lucknow

The CBI, which has taken over the investigation into Sunday's road accident, has booked 10 people, including Sengar, for murder

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court said on Friday that the Unnao rape victim’s family is at liberty to take a call on moving her to AIIMS here from the Lucknow hospital where she is undergoing treatment following a road accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli district. The apex court took note of a statement made by senior advocate V Giri that she is unconscious and on a ventilator, and her family has expressed that she be treated at the Lucknow hospital for the time being. Giri is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi accepted the suggestion and said the victim’s family is at liberty to take a call on moving her to AIIMS in Delhi from Lucknow. The bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, was informed that her lawyer, who was also injured in the accident, was taken off the ventilator but his condition is still critical.

The lawyer’s father was indecisive on him being moved to Delhi, the Supreme Court was informed.

The bench gave liberty to the family of the victim and the lawyer to approach the Supreme Court’s secretary-general at any point for moving them to AIIMS in Delhi.

The woman, allegedly raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, is battling for life after a truck rammed into the car she was travelling in with some family members and her lawyer. Two of her aunts died in the accident last Sunday. Her family alleges that the collision was a deliberate attempt to kill her by those close to the MLA.

The apex court also directed moving of the rape victim’s uncle, Mahesh Singh, from Raebareli jail to Tihar and deferred the matter for further order on Monday.

Mahesh Singh’s wife was in the ill-fated car and had died in the accident. He participated in her cremation on Wednesday after the Allahabad High Court granted him parole for a day. He has been convicted in a 19-year-old case and sentenced to 10 years jail term on a case filed by Sengar’s brother, Atul Singh.

The apex court directed all media houses not to disclose the identity of the victim directly, indirectly, or in any manner.

During the brief hearing, the Uttar Pradesh government informed the bench that the interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh has already been released to the victim’s family.

The Supreme Court has deferred hearing in the rape case for Monday.

The apex court had on Thursday transferred all five cases registered in connection with the incident from a Lucknow court to a court in Delhi with directions to hold trial on daily basis and completing it within 45-days. It directed transferring of the cases from CBI court in Lucknow to the court of District Judge Dharmesh Sharma at Tis Hazari courts in Delhi.

Besides the main rape case and the accident case, the three other matters which were transferred to the national capital are the FIR which was lodged against victim’s father under Arms Act, his custodial death and the gang rape of the victim.

The top court had further said that CBI will have to complete the investigation within seven days into the recent accident in which the victim and her lawyer were critically injured and two of her aunts killed. It had said the agency can avail of an additional seven days in exceptional circumstances, but in no case the time frame will be extended beyond a fortnight.

The apex court had directed that the victim, her mother, other members of the family and their lawyer will be provided security by the CRPF and an officer of the level of commandant will file a compliance report forthwith.

Sengar, a four-time legislator who represents Bangermau in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, is the main accused in the rape case and is lodged in jail since April 2018.

The CBI, which has taken over the investigation into Sunday’s road accident, has booked 10 people, including Sengar, for murder.

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