Unnao Rape Case: Sengar Gets Life Term, To Pay Rs 25L Exemplary Fine

Dec 20, 2019 | Pratirodh Bureau
Sengar Kuldeep Singh

FILE PHOTO: Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a legislator of Uttar Pradesh state from India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reacts as he leaves a court after he was arrested on Friday in connection with the rape of a teenager, in Lucknow on April 14, 2018

Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar will remain in jail for his entire life for raping a woman in Unnao in 2017, a Delhi court said on Friday while sentencing him for life.

District Judge Dharmesh Sharma also imposed an exemplary fine of Rs 25 lakh in the case and it has to be paid within a month.

“This court does not find any mitigating circumstance; Sengar was a public servant and betrayed people’s faith,” the judge said while declining the plea for a lenient approach in sentencing him.

The conduct of 53-year-old Sengar was to intimidate the rape survivor, the court said. It also directed that the rape survivor be paid an additional Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the mother of the victim.

Besides, the court directed the CBI to continue assessing the threat perception to the life and security of the survivor and her family members every three months.

It said they will continue to reside in a rented accommodation made available by the Delhi Commission for Women for one more year and directed the UP government to pay Rs 15,000 per month for the rent.

The court had on Monday convicted Sengar for rape under the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for offence by a public servant committing penetrative sexual assault against a child after holding the victim to be a minor in 2017.

The court had said the victim’s testimony was “truthful and unblemished” against a “powerful person”.

The recent amendments made in August this year in the POCSO Act, which carries a provision of death penalty, did not come into effect as the incident took place in 2017, before the law was amended.

Shashi Singh, the woman co-accused in the case, was acquitted of all charges saying that the CBI failed to prove that she was a co-conspirator with Sengar in the act of sexual assault committed upon the victim and “it appears that she herself was a victim of circumstances”.

Convicting Sengar under the POCSO Act, the court said the CBI proved that the victim was a minor and he was rightly prosecuted under the special law.

The court had noted that it was proved by the prosecution that the movement of Sengar on the fateful day was not in sync with the movements of his three mobile SIM cards operating on his two mobile phones.

It had said that after the victim wrote a letter to the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, several criminal cases were filed against her family and “imprints of Sengar” were visible in them.

The court had expressed surprise over the delay by the CBI in filing the charge-sheet in the gang rape case and said it had halted the progress against Sengar and Singh in the rape case.

In a separate case, the same woman was allegedly gang raped later by three other persons on June 11, 2017 in Unnao. The trial is yet to commence in that case.

The court had found that the delay of two months and ten days in reporting the crime of rape to the police was satisfactorily explained by the survivor.

The court had also pulled up the CBI for the absence of women officers in conducting the probe “without bothering for the kind of harassment, anguish and re-victimisation that occurs for a victim of sexual assault”.

Referring to the POCSO, the court had said there was “nothing wrong” with the law but its ineffective implementation on ground and lack of humane approach of officers concerned led to a situation where justice was delayed.

It said the CBI itself was not following the manual relating to investigation and prosecution.

On July 28 this year, the car of the rape survivor was hit by a truck and she was severely injured. The woman’s two aunts were killed in the accident and her family had alleged foul play.

The trial in the other four cases — framing of the rape survivor’s father in illegal firearms case, his death in judicial custody, conspiracy of Sengar with others in the accident case and the separate gang rape case of the survivor by three others — are going on in the court.