The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to list next week for hearing a plea of the Unnao rape survivor seeking transfer of a criminal case filed by the father of one of the accused in her sexual assault case from a trial court in Uttar Pradesh to Delhi.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices J K Maheshwari and Hima Kohli took note of the submissions of lawyer Vrinda Grover on urgent hearing of the fresh plea of the rape survivor.
“List next week,” the bench said.
A Delhi court had in December 2019 sentenced expelled former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar to imprisonment for the remainder of his life for kidnapping and raping the girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao in 2017 when she was a minor.
A local court at Unnao has recently issued a non-bailable warrant against the survivor on a criminal complaint of alleged cheating and forgery filed by the father of Shubham Singh, one of the accused being tried in the Unnao rape case in a Delhi court.
The transfer plea, filed in the apex court, alleged the “counter judicial proceedings” against the girl have been initiated in the Unnao court with the ulterior motive of propping up a defence in the sexual assault case.
Sengar’s appeal against the conviction and the life sentence is pending in the Delhi High Court, which recently sought the response of the CBI.
The trial court had convicted Sengar under various provisions including section 376 (2) of the IPC which deals with a public servant who “takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody… or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him”.
It had awarded him the maximum punishment of life term, stating that the convict will remain in jail for the “remainder of his natural biological life”, and also imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on him.
The trial, which started on August 5, 2019, was transferred from Unnao to Delhi and held on a day-to-day basis following the Supreme Court’s directions.
The apex court had taken cognisance of the rape survivor’s letter written to the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
It had on August 1, 2019, transferred all five cases registered in connection with the Unnao rape incident from a Lucknow court to the court in Delhi with directions to hold daily hearings and complete the trial within 45 days.