NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has framed charges against Sharadveer Singh, an "associate" of expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, for allegedly implicating Unnao rape survivor's father in a false case of possessing illegal firearms and murdering him while in judicial custody.
The court had earlier framed charges against Sengar, his brother Atul Sengar, three former Uttar Pradesh Police personnel and five others in the case.
Singh was arrested after CBI had filed a supplementary charge sheet naming him as an accused in the case.
District Judge Dharmesh Sharma said prima facie grounds exist to frame charges against Singh for allegedly conspiring to frame the rape survivor's father by planting arms, falsely implicating him by creating fake documents and murdering him while in judicial custody.
The court said the role of the accused during the decisive moments is quite questionable.
"This is a peculiar case where most of the prosecution witnesses hail from the same village and appeared to have given dodgy versions of the incident and such creases could only be ironed out during the trial of the case."
"Indeed, there is no substantial evidence against Singh yet it is also common judicial experience that directs that evidence to prove criminal conspiracy is rarely available."
"At this stage there is a strong suspicion and reasonable inference that the accused was involved in criminal conspiracy to commit series of acts as forming part of the transaction that ultimately led to the lodging of false FIR against the father and ultimately succumbing to his injuries in the custody," the court said.
Senior Public Prosecutor Ashok Bhartendu, appearing for the CBI, had told the court that the accused was an associate of Sengar and investigation has revealed that he was in close touch with the other accused in the case during the incident.
Advocate Dharmendra Mishra, counsel for the rape survivor and her family, said that Singh was not only in active cahoots with Sengar and the three police officers accused in the case, he played a major role in facilitating the lodging of the false FIR against the woman's father.
He said that had the FIR not been lodged against him, he would not have been sent to judicial custody and his life could have been saved.
The counsel for the accused opposed the submissions saying there was not enough evidence against Singh to frame charges against him.
The woman was allegedly raped by Sengar in 2017, when she was a minor.
The court had also framed charges against the MLA, representing Bangermau in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, in the rape case.
The rape survivor's father was arrested on April 3, 2018.
He died in judicial custody six days later.