LUCKNOW: The family of the Unnao rape survivor thanked the court on Monday for the conviction of former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, but felt shocked over the exoneration of co-accused Shashi Singh.
As per the relatives of the rape survivor, the acquittal of Shashi Singh had disheartened them all.
“She played a dirty role. She should have been convicted too. The girl herself is in extreme shock over Shashi Singh’s acquittal,” said a relative.
The relative claimed that not only the survivor but her mother and sisters were also in distress.
“However, we have full faith in judiciary and thank the court for Sengar’s conviction,” said the relative.
“Justice has been done. Though a bit late. She has suffered a lot in her fight for justice” said another relative. “Our family has been eliminated in this fight. We have paid too heavy a price.”
“Now we expect the court to award the strictest punishment to Sengar. It should punish him in such a way that it comes as a lesson to the likes of him,” said a cousin of the woman.
The court convicted Sengar for rape under the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act for the offence of a public servant committing penetrative sexual assault against a child.
The court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on Wednesday.
The offences entail a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
District Judge Dharmesh Sharma, however, acquitted co-accused Shashi Singh of all charges.
Convicting Sengar, 53, under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the court said the CBI proved that the victim was a minor and was rightly prosecuted the special law.
"I found her statement truthful and unblemished that she was sexually assaulted. She was under threat, worried. She is a village girl, not from the cosmopolitan educated area. Sengar was a powerful person. So she took her time," the judge said while reading out the verdict.
When the judge started pronouncing the judgement, co-accused Singh fainted.
The conviction comes after concluding the in-camera proceedings earlier this month.
Incidentally, Monday marks the seven years of the Nirbhaya gang rape that had shaken the entire nation.
Soon after his conviction, Sengar broke down in the courtroom. He was seen crying beside his sister.
The offences entail a maximum punishment of life imprisonment under POCSO.
The day-to-day hearing was ordered by the Supreme Court in August when it transferred the case from Lucknow to the national capital after taking cognizance of the rape survivor’s letter written to then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.
The Delhi court was directed to hold a trial on a daily basis and complete it within 45 days. Sengar had allegedly kidnapped and raped the woman in 2017 when she was a minor.
The woman was allegedly kidnapped and raped by Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor. The court has framed charges against co-accused Shashi Singh in the case. Sengar was expelled from the BJP in August 2019.
The court had on August 9 framed charges against the MLA and Singh under Sections 120 b (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage), 376 (rape) of the IPC and other relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
On July 28, the car of the woman who had accused Sengar was hit by a truck. While she was severely injured, her two aunts were killed in the accident.
Her family had alleged foul play.
Her father was allegedly framed in an illegal arms case and arrested on April 3, 2018.
He died while in judicial custody a few days later, on April 9.
The local court has framed murder and other charges against the MLA, his brother Atul and nine others in the case.