The Allahabad High Court today directed the CBI to immediately arrest BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused in the Unnao rape case, and rapped the Uttar Pradesh government saying the law and order machinery and officials were directly under his influence.
A bench of Chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice Suneet Kumar gave the direction to the agency after the counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government informed it that Sengar has been detained for interrogation and not arrested yet.
It directed CBI to arrest "forthwith" Sengar and the other accused named in the FIR registered yesterday for offences punishable under sections 363, 366, 376, 506 of IPC and sections 3 and 4 of POCSO Act and carry out further investigation within the time stipulated under the provisions of CrPC.
It also directed the agency to file status report by May 2.
The judges also took strong objection to Advocate General Raghvendra Singh's submission that Sengar would not be arrested on mere registration of the FIR, saying, "The approach of the learned Advocate General is not only appalling but shocks the conscience of the Court in the backdrop of the instant case."
The bench passed the order on a letter written by senior advocate Gopal Swaroop Chaturvedi demanding a court-monitored investigation of the incident and treated it as a PIL.
The judges said Advocate General Singh has not denied that the case involves commission of a grave and heinous offence like rape, which has been disclosed by the prosecutrix and her family members to the officer of the rank of Additional DGP.
"The arrest of the accused in the circumstances can be considered justified and necessary, not only to restrain his movement but also to infuse confidence in the victim and her family members of fair investigation and to restrain the accused from influencing the investigation and tampering with evidence and witnesses," the court said.
In its 20-page order, the court also said, "The disturbing feature of the case is that the law and order machinery and the government officials were directly in league and under the influence of Kuldeep Singh. The doctor did not examine the prosecutrix, nor did the circle officer, Shafipur, register the crime, though hand written complaint of the prosecutrix was sent from the office of the Chief Minister."
The bench said the father of prosecutrix was "beaten up by the brother and the goons of Kuldeep Singh and was arrested and in the custody was beaten mercilessly".
It also said it appears that false cases were lodged against the family members.
"Finally, father of the prosecutrix succumbed to injuries. The prosecutrix unable to face the pressures exercised upon her by Kuldeep Singh, who was having the backing of the law and order machinery of district Unnao, attempted to immolate herself to draw the attention of the society that she needs help and protection of the custodians of law, which was put to the winds at the behest of the accused Kuldeep Singh," it said.
Disagreeing with the submissions of the Advocate General, the bench said, "We are constrained to record the approach and attitude of the learned Advocate General, during the course of hearing, in contending that no accused person, including Kuldeep Singh, can be arrested without the Investigating Officer following the procedure prescribed under CrPC and collecting evidence in support of the allegation of rape."
Yesterday, the court had asked the Advocate General whether the state government proposes to arrest Sengar.
Singh had replied that he was not in a position to make any statement in this regard and police will proceed in accordance with law only after recording statement of the complainant and witnesses.
The CBI registered three separate cases in connection with the alleged rape and detained Sengar for questioning in the early hours today.
The cases pertain to the alleged rape, killing of the girl's father and a case of arms act.
The girl's father allegedly died in custody and the autopsy report showed injury marks on his body.
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