The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) while hearing an interim bail plea filed by former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was sentenced to life by a trial court for raping a minor girl in 2017.
A division bench of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice Poonam A Bamba issued notice to the central agency, noting that Sengar had sought bail for two months on account of his daughter’s wedding in February next year at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Appearing for Sengar, senior advocate N Hariharan submitted that Sengar’s daughter’s ‘tilak’ ceremony was to be held on January 30 while the wedding is on February 8, 2023.
After the notice was accepted by the counsel for the CBI, the high court directed the agency to verify the facts stated in the application.
“Status report be filed,” the court said.
The matter is next listed on January 16, 2023.
Sengar has also challenged the trial court’s December 16, 2019, order that found him guilty of raping a minor girl and the December 20, 2019, order that sentenced him to “life imprisonment till the remainder of his biological life”. The court found Sengar guilty under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 5(c) and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, holding that the victim’s testimony was “unblemished, truthful and… of sterling quality”.
District judge Dharmesh Sharma said that Sengar was a public servant, people had reposed faith in him and that he had betrayed the trust. “All possible coercive measures were employed against the family. There was pain to the family and efforts were made to threaten harm,” the judge said.
The trial court also imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Sengar, of which Rs 10 lakh was to be given to the victim and Rs 15 lakh to the Uttar Pradesh government for the costs incurred while prosecuting him.
The case dates back to June 4, 2017, when the victim, then 17, was allegedly raped by the four-time BJP MLA from Bangermau in Uttar Pradesh. He was expelled from the BJP in August 2019. On April 3, 2018, her father was allegedly framed in an illegal arms case and arrested. He died in judicial custody a few days later, on April 9, 2018.
On July 28, 2019, a speeding truck rammed into the car in which the victim, her two aunts and their lawyer were travelling. Her aunts were killed while the victim and her lawyer were critically injured.
On August 1, 2019, the Supreme Court transferred the rape case and four related cases to Delhi and directed the trial court to complete the trial in 45 days. The trial court heard the case on a day-to-day basis since August 5, 2019.