Unnao rape: SC shifts trial to Delhi, orders solatium, security to family
The Supreme Court on Thursday passed an unprecedented and comprehensive order in the five cases connected with the Unnao rape case.
The court order included compensation for the victim, shifting of cases to Delhi, daily trial to be completed in 45 days, security cover for the victim's family members, best medical treatment for the victim, completing of investigation within a fortnight by the CBI in the accident and possibility of shifting victim's uncle to Delhi prison on security grounds.
"The trial judge to whom the cases have been earmarked will commence the trial forthwith on a day-to-day basis and will ensure completion of trial of all the five cases within 45 days from the commencement of trial", said Chief Justice of india (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.
Dharmesh Sharma, district judge in Tize Hazari court, will conduct the trial. The CJI got agitated on learning that charges in the cases are yet to be framed. "What is happening in this country", he lashed out at the authorities concerned present in the court.
The Bench also awarded Rs 25 lakh compensation to the victim. "We direct Uttar Pradesh to pay an interim compensation and the compensation will be paid to the mother of the victim by tomorrow (Friday)", said the court.
The court has granted two weeks to conclude the investigation into the Sunday's truck-car accident, which left the rape victim and her lawyer in critical condition and her two aunts dead.
Learning about the victim's medical condition, the court asked the family's counsel D. Ram Krishna Reddy to ascertain the family's views in connection with the victim's transfer to a hospital outside Lucknow. The court was informed that the victim was receiving the best medical attention in a top hospital in Lucknow.
"Amicus curiae to ascertain the views of the family of the lawyer of the victim as to whether the said person should be shifted from the hospital in Lucknow to another hospital in the country for more advanced medical treatment", said the court.
The court also ordered security cover for the victim and her lawyer, the victim's mother, four siblings and uncle Mahesh Singh (younger brother of the victim's father) and the immediate family members of Singh, who lives in Makhi village in Unnao.
"Such security and protection shall be provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The commandant of the CRPF battalion in Raebareli or in any location near Raebareli where a CRPF battalion may be located, shall be responsible for providing adequate security and protection in terms of this order," said the court after noting security threats to the victim's family from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his henchmen.
The court asked the UP government whether the victim's uncle should be shifted to Tihar Jail from a Raebareli jail. "The standing counsel of UP will inform the court as to whether Mahesh Singh, currently lodged in Raebareli jail, needs to be moved out on account of security reasons," said the court.
The Bench will continue the hearing on Friday to know if its directions had been carried out.
The Supreme Court has expanded its suo moto registered PIL on the steps to curb child rape cases and included in it the issue of compensation and protection to the Unnao rape victim.
The court has considered the amicus curia's suggestion to make the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, founded by Noble Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, a party in the matter.
The CJI on Wednesday took suo moto cognisance of a letter written by the victim's family alleging threats from Sengar's men. The court has sought a report in seven days from the registry on the delay in placing the letter before the court.
On Sunday, the victim, who had accused Sengar of raping her in 2017, was travelling to Raebareli with her lawyer Singh and two aunts when a truck being driven on the wrong side hit them. The rape victim and her lawyer are on life support system. Of the two aunts killed in the accident, one was witness to the crime. IANS