The CBI on Friday (October 11) dropped murder charges against former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his associates in its first charge sheet in the Unnao rape victim accident case in which two aunts of the woman were killed, officials said.
In the first charge sheet filed before a special CBI court in Lucknow in the evening, the agency charged Sengar and all other accused named in the FIR under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation.
The FIR filed by the CBI had booked Sengar and nine other associates for alleged criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder and criminal intimidation. Sengar has been expelled from the BJP.
The woman, allegedly raped by Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, battled for life after a truck rammed into the car she was travelling in with some family members and her lawyer in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh on July 28.
Truck driver Ashish Kumar Pal has been charged under IPC sections related to causing death by negligence, causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others and rash driving or riding on a public way, the officials said.
No charges of criminal conspiracy have been slapped against Pal in the CBI charge sheet, they said. The agency also recommended to the Uttar Pradesh government departmental action against some officers but did not reveal their identity.
On the day of the accident, none of her security personnel of Uttar Pradesh Police were accompanying the woman. They were later suspended. Two days after the accident, on July 30, the CBI booked Sengar, his brother Manoj Singh Sengar, Arun Singh, son-in-law of a Uttar Pradesh minister along with seven others.
The agency had taken over the FIR registered by Uttar Pradesh Police which was filed on the basis of statement given by the uncle of the woman. In a critical condition, the victim was airlifted from a hospital in Lucknow and brought to the AIIMS for better care.
The victim, now 19-year old, was allegedly raped by the MLA on June 4, 2017 when she was a minor but her attempts to file a case did not materialise. Her father was arrested on alleged false charges levelled by the family of Sengar.
She had attempted self-immolation in front of Adityanaths residence to get the probe going in her case last year. Next day, her father was allegedly assaulted inside the prison and he died of the injuries.
The news grabbed headlines following which the Allahabad High Court took suo motu cognisance of the case and handed over the matter to the CBI which has filed charge sheet against Sengar in July last year.
He was arrested on April 13 last year in connection with the rape case. A four-term MLA, Sengar, who represents Bangarmau in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, is considered an influential Thakur leader in the region.
The case is in a special court that hardly progressed since there were no judges to hear the matter. The rape survivor wrote a number of letters to various authorities, including the Chief Justice of India, saying she was threatened for her life by Sengars kin.
A letter dated July 12, written by the survivor and two of her family members, was also sent to the Allahabad High Court and other authorities of the Uttar Pradesh government. Taking note of the letter, the Supreme Court on August 1 had directed the CBI to finish the probe within a week. This deadline was repeatedly increased on the request of the agency.