Unnao rape case: Court alters charges against Kuldeep Sengar
A Delhi court on Wednesday altered the charges framed against expelled Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who has been accused of raping a minor in 2017.
The District and Sessions court charged the Unnao lawmaker with aggravated sexual assault by a public servant, five days after charging him and Shashi Singh, who was reportedly his accomplice, under sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. While sections 3 and 4 pertain to penetrative sexual assault, section 5 pertains to aggravated sexual assault by a public servant, and carries a higher quantum of punishment.
The other charges framed by the court against Sengar and Singh, namely, IPC sections 120b (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage), and 376 (rape).
While considering whether a legislator qualified as a “public servant” read under the POCSO Act, Sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma observed in his order that “it is all about position of power, authority or trust, and if a MLA or elected representative is found to have committed such offence, he would squarely be covered by the rigors of section 5(c) POCSO Act.” The charges have also been altered against Singh, who is accused of enticing the minor to Sengar’s house on the pretext of getting her a job.