Massive public outrage, social media campaigns and criticism of the Uttar Pradesh government for its callous attitude towards the accident involving the Unnao rape survivor and her family, finally helped the case make some progress on Thursday. While a cornered BJP expelled the accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the Supreme Court on Thursday, directed the transfer of all five cases filed in connection with the rape case from an Uttar Pradesh court to another in New Delhi.
The apex court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide ₹25 lakh to the rape survivor as an interim compensation. The CBI too has been directed to complete the investigation of the fifth case related to the accident, within seven days. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi made it clear that the agency can only seek extension of time for probe in the accident case in exceptional circumstances.
It further directed that the trial in the main case relating to the rape of the survivor will have to be completed within 45 days from its commencement.
The court also took note of the oral instructions received by the CBI from the doctors of the King George Medical College Hospital that both the woman and her lawyer are in a condition to be airlifted to AIIMS, New Delhi. It will however pass the order in this regard after receiving instruction from their family members
Earlier in the day, the BJP expelled the accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is already in jail, charged with the rape of the Unnao woman when she was a minor in 2017, a day after the CBI booked him and 10 others on charges of murder.
Doctors at Kings George Medical University in Lucknow said that the rape survivor and her lawyer, who were critically injured in the accident were stable. “The rape survivor’s condition is stable, but still she is on ventilator support,” said Dr Sandeep Tiwari, in-charge of KGMU’s Trauma Centre. A CT scan was conducted on the rape survivor, but there was no sign of any head injury. A team of doctors are monitoring her round-the-clock, authorities said.
On July 28, the car in which the Unnao rape survivor, her family and lawyer were travelling was hit by a truck in Rae Bareli, killing her two aunts and leaving her and the advocate critically injured.
The UP police on July 29 filed a murder case against Sengar and nine others after the rape survivor’s family filed a complaint alleging conspiracy behind the accident.
The three security personnel tasked with protecting the rape survivor, but found absent during the accident, were suspended on Thursday on charges of dereliction of duty.
Ajendra Awasthi, another advocate for the woman, said he has been provided with adequate security by the district administration after he requested for it.
Days before the accident, the family of the Unnao rape survivor had written a letter to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, alleging of receiving threats since Sengar was jailed. Hearing the case on July 31, an angry Gogoi, had asked the secretary general of the Supreme Court why he was not given the letter. In his defence on Thursday, the secretary general said he had received around 6,800 letter petitions in July which were being vetted. “We did not know the name of the victim and her family. Once we found out about it we placed it before the court,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)