35 days after car crash, Unnao teen’s statement recorded
A bench led by Justice Deepak Gupta made the remark while hearing an application filed by one of the accused in the 2017 gang rape case who has questioned the “fairness” of the top court order.Updated: Sep 03, 2019 07:15 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday said it expects the trial in five cases related to Unnao gang rape to be “free and fair.”
A bench led by Justice Deepak Gupta made the remark while hearing an application filed by one of the accused in the 2017 gang rape case who has questioned the “fairness” of the top court order that fixed a 45-day deadline for a trial court to complete the trial in all cases.
Accused Shashi Singh has claimed that 45 days’ times is too less to complete the trial, and that his right to defend himself by cross-examining the witnesses will not be available to him.
The top court has sought a reply from the trial judge who was named to exclusively hear all the five cases, and fixed September 6 to hear the matter again.
In a related development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday recorded the statement of the rape survivor in connection with a road accident case in July, in which she and her lawyer were seriously injured.
Two of the 19-year-old survivor’s relatives died in the accident; one of them was a witness in the rape case.
CBI officials said her statement was recorded only after the doctors at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where the woman is undergoing treatment, confirmed that there was considerable improvement in her medical condition.
The woman has alleged that Uttar Pradesh legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was expelled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last month, raped her in 2017 when she was a minor.
She and her lawyer met with an accident in Rae Bareli on July 28.The rape survivor’s family has alleged Sengar orchestrated the attack from inside prison. Her mother claimed the accident was meant to “eliminate” her daughter.
A CBI official, requesting anonymity, confirmed recording the woman’s statement but refused to divulge the details. The Supreme Court has directed the agency to finish the probe in accident by September 6.
In its FIR registered in the accident case, CBI has named suspended Sengar and his brother Manoj Singh Sengar, among others.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court issued notice to the lawyer representing the survivor as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for hindering the judicial proceedings by frequently interrupting during the hearing.
The court was hearing a petition by Uttar Pradesh constable Amir Khan, who is in judicial custody, seeking quashing of framing of charges, including murder and criminal conspiracy, against him. He has contended that the August 13 order was “illegal, improper, prejudicial and against established principles of criminal procedure code”.
Advocate Dharmendra Kumar Mishra, however, claimed that he did not do anything which could have invited contempt proceedings. The court listed his plea for further hearing on September 5.