December 29, 2019

AIDWA Welcomes Life Imprisonment for Former BJP MLA

The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), in a statement issued on December 21, has welcomed the sentencing of former BJP MLA Kuldip Singh Sengar to imprisonment for the remainder of his life, in the Unnao rape case by the Delhi CBI Court. It also welcomed the Court’s directives stating that adequate steps should be taken by the CBI to ensure the life and liberty of the survivor and her family is protected by providing a safe house and change of identity if so desired by the family. The court has asked the CBI to assess the threat to life of the survivor and her family every three months. It has also imposed exemplary costs and has awarded Rs 10,000 for the survivor’s mother.

The AIDWA said that it is a classic case in which the justice delivery system was completely subverted to provide protection to the accused who was in a position of power and part of the ruling BJP. This has been repeatedly happening in cases of influential persons who are involved in rape cases and who are a part of the BJP or close associates.

It may be recalled that though the rape was committed in June 2017, by Sengar and his associates, the FIR was not lodged for a long time and the girl and her family had to go to a court to try to get a case registered. The girl’s father was also beaten up by the MLA’s men and at their behest the police, on a trumped-up charge, arrested the father and sent him to jail. In jail he was again beaten so badly that he died.

It was only after the girl had attempted suicide outside the chief minister’s house in Lucknow, almost a year after the rape that the Uttar Pradesh government ordered the police to handover the case to the CBI and Sengar was charged and arrested. However, a case was lodged against the survivor’s mother and uncle for tampering with documents. In July, this year, the survivor and her lawyer were critically injured and her aunts were killed when a truck with blackened number plates rammed into their car. The victim’s family has alleged that the accident was engineered at the instance of the accused. The CBI Court has rightly observed that Sengar made all the efforts to silence the victim and her family. It was only with the transfer of the case by the Supreme Court to Delhi and under the orders of the Supreme Court that the case was heard within four months thereafter.

AIDWA demanded that the other cases related to this case including that pertaining to the death of the survivor’s father, the involvement of Sengar and others in the accident case and the gangrape case of the rape survivor by three others be also speedily decided and all those involved in these cases be appropriately punished including the police who deliberately delayed the case and acted as per the directions of the accused and his associates.

AIDWA also demanded that cases of sexual assault be decided by fast track courts and the police and others be routinely held accountable for any attempt to thwart the process of justice.