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SC puts Unnao order on hold; CBI forms additional team

Last updated on: August 02, 2019 23:01 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday put on hold its order transferring to a Delhi court the case registered after the road crash which left the Unnao rape victim critically injured and said the woman's relatives were at liberty to shift her to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, an option they are not willing to exercise right now.

IMAGE: MP's from various opposition parties stage a protest over the accident of Unnao rape survivor in New Delhi. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/PTI Photo

The apex court will on Monday take a call on moving the woman and her lawyer to AIIMS in Delhi, it said.

As the victim remained on ventilator support at a Lucknow hospital, the Central Bureau of Investigation set up an additional 20-member team to probe Sunday's truck-car collision in Rae Bareli that killed the woman's two aunts.

 

The woman and her lawyer are admitted at King George's Medical University's trauma centre.

The woman family alleges that the collision was a deliberate attempt to kill her by those close to expelled Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar.

He is already in jail, arrested last year for allegedly raping the woman when she was a minor in 2017.

The apex court also directed shifting the 19-year-old woman's uncle Mahesh Singh 'immediately' and 'under armed escort' from a Rae Bareli jail to the Tihar prison in Delhi.

The compliance report on this should be laid before the court on Monday, it ordered.

Singh was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in a two-decade-old case filed by Sengar's brother Atul Singh.

Senior advocate V Giri, assisting the court as amicus curiae, told the bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta, that the victim's mother wanted her to be treated at the Lucknow hospital for the time being.

The apex court deferred the matter till Monday, noting that there appeared to be 'some hesitation on the part of the family members at this stage' to shift her.

The bench gave the liberty to the families of the woman and her lawyer to approach the Supreme Court's secretary general at any point for shifting them to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

The apex court had on Thursday transferred all five cases related to the Unnao victim from a Lucknow court to a court in Delhi, with directions to hold trial on a daily basis.

But in its hearing on Friday it made an exception for the accident case to enable the CBI to carry out its investigation.

The CBI argued that with the shifting of the case, the local court faces a technical hurdle in passing remand orders for those arrested during its probe.

The CBI has booked 10 people, including Sengar, for murder after taking over the road crash case.

Six experts from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory have reached the site in Raebareli and are recreating the crime scene with the help of a Swift car, similar to the one in which the victim was travelling when a truck rammed into it.

The 20-member special team will assist a five-member team in Lucknow which is already probing the case, a spokesperson said.

In Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh police ordered a probe after a policeman posted at the jail where Sengar is lodged was seen in a video purportedly accepting a bribe from a man considered close to the legislator.

"If policemen are found guilty, they will be dismissed," Director General, Prisons, Anand Kumar said.

Rinku Shukla, the man in the video, is a panchayat member from Unnao. He told reporters that he was not bribing the policeman to meet Sengar, the Bangermau MLA.

"It is my habit. I might have given money to him for having tea as he was standing there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sengar's arms licence is yet to be cancelled.

Unnao District Magistrate Divendra Kumar Pandey said a decision on this has to be taken by the court after hearing both sides.

Both the police and Sengar's lawyers have filed their reports on the matter, but the hearing could not take place because of a lawyers' strike, he said.

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