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Unnao rape victim’s plea reaches CJI Gogoi 18 days after she sent it, delay to be probed

Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognisance of the letter, to hear matter Thursday. Registry says delay "not intentional".

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New Delhi: The letter written by Unnao rape survivor to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on 12 July, stating that she was being threatened to “compromise” in the case, reached the CJI on 30 July, 18 days later.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the letter and will hear the matter Thursday. The rape survivor had requested the top court to take action against the ones issuing threats to her.

Gogoi, on the other hand, said Wednesday “a letter addressed to me, but is yet to see the light of the day.” “I have not yet seen the letter and I was informed about such a letter yesterday (Tuesday) at 4 pm,” he said in an open courtroom.

The CJI, after being informed about the receipt of such a letter at the SC registry, asked the court’s Registrar General Sanjeev S Kalgoankar to conduct a probe into the delay in receiving this “important letter”, ThePrint has learnt.

The CJI has also asked for a report to be tabled Thursday on the administrative order issued by him to Kalgoankar.

Sources in the SC registry said there are “hundreds of letters” written to the CJI and other SC judges every day and there are chances that “some letters” take time to reach the CJI.

Gogoi’s remarks in the open courtroom came when senior SC lawyer V.V. Giri pressed the top court to issue guidelines in the Unnao rape case as it was an offence under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The letter from the rape survivor was addressed to the CJI around 15 days before the deadly car accident in Rae Bareli on 28 July that killed two of her aunts. The survivor, who had accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar of rape in April 2018, and her lawyer are now battling for life.

According to the letter, around 9 am on 7 July, Sengar’s brothers, associate Manoj Singh and three others related to another of the MLA’s aide, Shashi Singh, had threatened her that a “judge would be bought by us and will ensure bail for Kuldeep and Shashi. Thereafter, false cases would be lodged against you and all of you will rot in the jail”.

Shashi Singh is the father of one of the men accused of allegedly gang-raping her.


Also read: Owner of truck that hit Unnao rape survivor’s car belongs to same district as Sengar’s


CBI silent on transfer of trial to Delhi    

ThePrint had earlier reported that the 19-year-old rape survivor and her family had approached the CBI last month and sought transfer of the trial to Delhi, mentioning that they feared being attacked by Sengar’s aides.

The CBI took over the investigation of the case in April 2018 and filed four separate FIRs.

The rape survivor’s mother, who is a party to the letter addressed to the CJI, had also filed a petition in the Supreme Court in April this year to transfer the case from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi.

The top court had issued a notice to CBI in the same month, seeking to know its stand on a possible transfer of the case. The CBI is yet to reply to the court in this regard. A notice was also issued to Sengar in April, but he did not make any appearance before the court.

Notice to other accused could not be served as the police stated that the addresses given by them were not “sufficient” or they were not found at home.

The top court has adjourned this matter for 29 November earlier this month.


Also read: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit Unnao rape survivor, days after protesting in Sonbhadra


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. There must be a screening procedure to deal with the large number of letters addressed to the honorable CJI. However, given the nature of the contents of this particular letter, it merited being placed before him within a day. This is not a general complaint about illegal sand mining in some remote part of the country. The trauma suffered by the complainant’s family has been in the public domain for more than one year. It was a cry from the heart that could have saved lives if attended to in good time.

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