New Delhi: A special court in Delhi Tuesday deferred to 20 December the sentencing of Kuldeep Singh Sengar, former BJP MLA from Unnao who was Monday convicted for raping a teenager in June 2017.
Judge Dharmesh Sharma demanded to see Sengar’s nomination papers for 2017 elections, after CBI counsel Ashok Bhartendu demanded adequate compensation for the victim under Sections 357 and 357A of the CrPC, taking into consideration Sengar’s financial status.
Sengar’s lawyer Tanveer Ahmed Mir, who argued against the grant of compensation, told the court that the information on the former MLA’s financial status was in public domain as election declarations.
The judge then asserted that he first wanted to examine Sengar’s finances.
“No amount of compensation can repair the injury…” he remarked.
The matter will now be heard on 20 December.
Earlier, as the hearing on his quantum of sentence began Tuesday, CBI counsel Ashok Bhartendu relied on SC guidelines in the Shyam Narayan vs State of Delhi case, and said Sengar deserved maximum punishment and should not be shown any leniency.
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Arguing for a minimum sentence, Sengar’s lawyer Tanveer Ahmed Mir requested the court to consider his “good conduct” in Tihar jail, and said the society never found him “in any kind of moral turpitude except this”.
On Monday, District judge Dharmesh Sharma convicted Sengar under Sections 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code, read with Sections 5(c) and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012.
Pronouncing the verdict, the judge had questioned the fact that the CBI took a year to file the chargesheet, saying that it “halted” the progress of the trial.
The investigation, the order said, “suffered from patriarchal approach or inherent outlook to brush the issues of sexual violence against the children under the carpet apart from exhibiting lack of sensitivity and humane approach”.
The judge opined that the investigation has “not been fair” to the victim and her family members, pointing out that she was repeatedly called to the CBI office, “without bothering for the kind of harassment, anguish and re-victimisation that occurs to a victim of sexual assault in such case”.
The judge, however, acquitted co-accused Shashi Singh, who had allegedly brought the young woman to the MLA on 4 June 2017 night when she was confined and raped.
According to the FIR filed against Sengar, Singh took the then 16-year-old girl to the MLA who then allegedly took her to a room and raped her.
The case came to light when the girl threatened to immolate herself outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in April 2018. She had then alleged that the police had refused to register a case on her complaint in August 2017.
Sengar was later charged with IPC Sections 120-b (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage) and 376 (rape), and under the POCSO Act.
The case was heard on a day-to-day basis from 5 August, after the Supreme Court intervened and directed that it be transferred to Delhi from a Lucknow court.
The apex court order came amidst national outrage after a road accident left the rape survivor and her lawyer fighting for their lives in hospital. Two of her aunts died in the accident, and her mother, who also sustained injuries in the accident, called it a conspiracy by Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his associates.
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