(Mint file)
(Mint file)

SC takes note of Unnao rape survivor’s letter, set to hear case today

  • In the letter, the family sought protection from the threats by the henchmen of BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar
  • CJI Ranjan Gogoi asks the court registry why there was a delay in placing the rape survivor’s letter before him

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will on Thursday take up the Unnao rape case in which a minor girl had accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar of sexual assault two years ago.

The court took note of a letter written by the victim and her family to the Chief Justice of India, narrating the threats they have received.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the court registry why there was a delay in placing the letter before him on the administrative or judicial side after senior advocate V. Giri, who assists the court in cases related to sexual assault on children, mentioned the 12 July letter in the court on Wednesday morning.

“I was only informed yesterday afternoon about the letter and am yet to see it. Newspapers have reported as if no action was taken by the CJI. We will try to do something constructive in the midst of this highly destructive environment," said the CJI, before listing the case for Thursday.

In the letter, the family sought protection from the threats by the henchmen of Sengar. The letter written in Devanagari script also said a video recording of criminal intimidation and photographs of the accused persons, have been annexed.

This comes in the wake of a truck with a blackened number plate ramming into the car in which the rape survivor was travelling in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli on Sunday, killing the girl’s relatives, and leaving her critically injured.

The accident sparked outrage. Opposition parties have raised the issue in Parliament and demanded a thorough probe.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of the Congress party questioned the lack of security provided to the girl. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also said he suspected foul play in the matter.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case of murder and attempt to murder against Sengar and 10 others in the accident case. It also charged 20 unknown persons with murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy.

In a related case, a transfer petition was filed in the Supreme Court by the victim’s mother in January. In the petition, she asked for the case to be transferred to Delhi, stating that her family would be in grave danger if the case continued in Uttar Pradesh. She also said in her petition that they “would not get fair trial in Uttar Pradesh".

On 16 April, the apex court had issued notice to 15 respondents. The CBI lawyer appeared in court and filed his presence in the court but did not file a reply to the transfer petition. The main accused was served notice but did not appear in court. The court had directed the petitioners to provide fresh addresses for the respondents who were not served the notice because of “insufficient address"or “not found at home".

The next date of hearing is 29 November.

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