Unnao rape victim moves Delhi HC against interim bail granted to Kuldeep Singh Sengar

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A division bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Anup Kumar Mendiratta issued notices to the CBI and Sengar seeking their responses and listed the matter for Friday.

On January 16, a division bench granted Sengar interim bail for 15 days from January 27 to February 10 and directed him to report to the sub-inspector concerned at the Lucknow office of the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Bureau every day during the period, and to furnish two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each. The bail was granted in the matter challenging the trial court’s December 2019 judgment pertaining to the rape conviction and life imprisonment.

Appearing for the victim, advocate Mehmood Pracha submitted that according to his client, since the interim bail was granted, the apprehension about her and her family’s safety had increased. He said that Sengar was a very “influential person” and that when he was in jail, he was able to “orchestrate the death” of the victim’s father. Pracha argued that even an SHO in the case was convicted along with Sengar over the death of the victim’s father. The CBI submitted that Sengar had to report to the investigating officer of the probe agency and not the local SHO.

The victim’s plea states that the Uttar Pradesh government filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court on November 16, 2022, highlighting the security risk to her and her family, during Sengar’s incarceration. “Hence, the security risk to the applicant (victim) upon the enlargement of the appellant (Sengar) even for an interim period poses a serious risk,” the plea states.

The plea further states that the victim had been receiving information that the appellant (Sengar) was going to harm her and her family after being released from prison. “The apprehension of the applicant as regards her safety and that of her family has increased, especially in consideration of the fact that the appellant, upon being released on bail, is permitted to use his mobile phone, and he is likely to conspire with and influence his known persons in the administration in order to harass the present applicant and to create security risks,” it states.

The plea also states that both Sengar and the CBI failed to highlight the fact that Sengar was convicted in the case pertaining to the custodial death of the victim’s father at his behest. Apart from the recall of the interim bail order, the plea has in the alternative sought a modification of the order, seeking that a permanent police detail be provided to Sengar during the period of his interim bail.

The high court on January 16 directed Sengar to furnish his mobile phone number and that his mobile should be kept in active mode throughout his interim bail. The court also directed that during the period of interim suspension, neither Sengar nor his family should contact the victim or any of her family members, go near their place of residence, or contact any of the witnesses already examined or proposed to be examined in any trial connected with the former BJP MLA.