The Allahabad high court on Friday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to arrest Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker charged with raping a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao last year.
The bench comprising chief justice DB Bhosale and justice Suneet Kumar asked the central agency to file a status report in the Unnao rape case on May 2 – the next date of hearing. The court also said it will monitor the investigation into the case.
The court directed the central agency to carry out the investigation strictly in accordance with the law and consider filing an application for the cancellation of the bail granted to other accused in the Unnao rape case.
“In the FIR lodged last year in connection with rape, the CBI may further investigate the case or reopen it,” the court said.
The counsel for the state government informed the court that the case has been handed over to the probe agency, which detained Sengar but has not arrested him yet. Sengar was detained early on Friday and questioned at the Lucknow office of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The court on Thursday came down strongly on the state government for not arresting Sengar despite the registration of an FIR registration and said the administration’s stand would force it to declare that “law and order has collapsed in the state”.
It asked advocate general Raghvendra Singh if the state government proposed to arrest the legislator. The advocate general replied that he was not in a position to make any statement in this regard and the police would proceed in accordance with law after recording statements of the complainant and witnesses.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh handed over the Unnao rape case to the central agency after coming under attack from its political rivals for allegedly shielding Sengar.
“Our government will not compromise on this issue, no matter how influential the accused is, he will not be spared,” Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath told reporters in Jalaun.
The girl who has accused Sengar of rape and intimidation tried to kill herself at Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow on Sunday. The case sparked further outrage after her father died on Monday of injuries reportedly sustained while in police custody.
“I want strict action should be taken against him (Sengar) and he should be given severe punishment,” the girl told new agency ANI on Friday.
The probe agency has asked the Uttar Pradesh’s special investigation team to hand over documents related to the Unnao rape case. It has re-registered the three first information reports filed by the state police in the case.
Its team was questioning the girl and her family members in Unnao. It will also record the statements of the policemen at the Makhi police station along with the doctors, who examined the teenager’s father.
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