Facing flak over sluggish pace of investigation into the Unnao rape case against a now sacked BJP legislator, the Adityanath government has decided to fortify and speed up prosecution in cases of crimes against women.
Last week, the Unnao rape survivor had met with a fatal accident, in which her two aunts were killed, while she along with her lawyer were grievously injured. They are undergoing treatment in a hospital even as the Supreme Court has taken note of the incident, which continues to make national headlines and putting the ruling BJP in dock.
Against this backdrop, sub-judice cases in UP courts pertaining to sexual harassment, rape and other serious offences against women and minors would be taken up on priority for effective prosecution and quicker disposal by the state government.
UP additional chief secretary, home department, Awanish Kumar Awasthi yesterday issued directives to the state director general, prosecution, for speeding up the cases pending in the sessions, special sessions and other district courts across the 75 districts.
Besides, the state prosecution department would also apprise the government every month of the prospective hearing dates in such cases pending in courts.
To argue cases on behalf of the state, the government appoints assistant prosecution officers, prosecution officers, senior prosecution officers apart from joint director prosecution in all the districts. Similarly, in the sessions and special sessions courts, district standing counsels and additional standing counsels are appointed for representing the government in criminal cases.
On Thursday, the SC had ordered the transfer of all 5 cases related to Unnao rape case from UP to Delhi. The court directed CBI to complete the probe into the accident within a week and later file chargesheet in a fortnight. Besides, it observed trials in all 5 cases be completed in 45 days thereafter for speedier disposal.
Besides, the SC directed the Adityanath government to pay compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the survivor apart from CRPF security cover to her family. The compensation has already been paid even as the ruling BJP also expelled the accused legislator, Kuldeep Singh Senger, from the party.
The accident occurred on July 28, when the survivor and her family were going to the Rae Bareli district jail to meet her uncle, who was lodged there for alleged assault on Senger’s brother Atul Singh. Their car was hit head on by a speeding truck. The truck driver and cleaner were later arrested by UP Police, which said the case prima facie looked a road accident.
Sengar, a legislator from Unnao district, about 50 km from Lucknow, is already behind bars in the rape case. He was charged with gang raping the minor and orchestrating brutal assault on her father, who later died in police custody in April 2018.