Friday, Dec 09, 2022

'Woman's Statement Unblemished': Delhi Court Convicts Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar In Unnao Rape Case

'Woman's Statement Unblemished': Delhi Court Convicts Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar In Unnao Rape Case

The woman from Unnao was kidnapped and raped by Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor.

Former BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar File photo

A Delhi court convicted expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on Monday for raping a woman in Unnao in 2017.

The court convicted Sengar for rape under Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act for offence of public servant committing penetrative sexual assault against a child.

The court said it found the statement of the woman "truthful, unblemished" that she was sexually assaulted and under threat.

District Judge Dharmesh Sharma, however, acquitted co-accused Shashi Singh of all charges.

"I found her statement truthful and unblemished that she was sexually assaulted. She was under threat, worried. She is a village girl, not from cosmopolitan educated area... Sengar was a powerful person. So she took her time..," the judge said while reading out the verdict.

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The court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on Wednesday. The offences entail maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

Sengar, a four-time BJP MLA from UP's Bangermau, was expelled from the BJP in August 2019.

Soon after his conviction, Sengar broke down in the courtroom. He was seen crying beside his sister.

The court showed displeasure with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the delay in filing the charge sheet, saying it prolonged trail against Sengar.

The court had on August 9 framed charges against the MLA and Singh under Sections 120 b (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage), 376 (rape) and other relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The apex court, taking cognisance of the rape survivor's letter written to the former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, had on August 1 transferred all five cases registered in connection with the Unnao rape incident from a Lucknow court in Uttar Pradesh to the court in Delhi with directions to hold trial on daily basis and completing it within 45-days.

The judge heard the case on a day-to-day basis from August 5.

On July 28 this year, the car of the 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.

Her father was allegedly framed in an illegal arms case and arrested on April 3, 2018. He died while in judicial custody a few days later, on April 9. The local court in Delhi had framed murder and other charges against the MLA, his brother Atul and nine others in the case.