LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday granted a two-month interim bail to former Samajwadi Party minister Gayatri Prajapati on medical grounds. Prajapati was jailed in a gang-rape and molestation case in March 2017.
Prajapati, who is currently admitted to King George's Medical University on health grounds, has been given the interim bail on a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh and two sureties of Rs two lakh each.
The High Court’s Lucknow bench comprising Justice Ved Prakash Vaishya directed Prajapati not to leave the country during this period. The court also warned the former minister against coercing the gang-rape and molestation victims during the bail period. The court also cautioned him against trying to tamper with the evidence and witnesses in the case. He has also been asked to submit his passport.
Prajapati had applied for the bail on the pretext of the spread of coronavirus claiming that he had the threat of getting infected as he was already suffering by a number of ailments.
Prajapati, who remained absconding for nearly a month in February 2017, was arrested when a 35-year-old woman from Chitrakoot had accused him and his cohorts of holding her hostage and raping her for three years when she met him for a job.
The former minister is accused of allegedly molesting her minor daughter as well.
Prajapati is facing trial in the case of gangrape of a woman and molestation of a minor registered in Gautampalli police station in Lucknow. He was also accused of taking obscene photos of the victim and threatening her to make the pictures public if she would refuse his advances.
However, Prajapati claimed it to be a conspiracy hatched by the BJP in order to distract people’s attention from the Assembly polls.
Prajapati used to be a close confidante of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and had won the 2012 Assembly poll from Amethi constituency. He was inducted in the state cabinet as mining minister. He enjoyed immense political clout during the SP government.