Unnao rape: SC puts in abeyance transfer of accident case, victim to stay in UP hospital for now

PTI
Friday, 2 August 2019

Before modifying and putting in abeyance its Thursday order, the apex court deferred till August 5 the direction for airlifting the victim from Lucknow hospital to AIIMS, New Delhi, noting that there appears to be some some hesitation on the part of the family members at this stage'.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday put on hold its order transferring the case of accident, in which the Unnao rape victim was severely injured, from a Lucknow court to Delhi to enable the CBI to complete its investigation.

Before modifying and putting in abeyance its Thursday order, the apex court deferred till August 5 the direction for airlifting the victim from Lucknow hospital to AIIMS, New Delhi, noting that there appears to be some some hesitation on the part of the family members at this stage'.

When the matter came up for hearing in the pre-lunch session, senior advocate V Giri, assisting the court as amicus curiae, told the bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta that he spoke to the victim's mother, who expressed that her daughter be treated at the Lucknow hospital for the time being.

Giri said he was told that the victim was still unconscious and on ventilator and her family members were of the view that they should take the call of shifting her to AIIMS if it becomes necessary.

He also stated that the victim's lawyer is also in critical stage and his father was indecisive on him being shifted to Delhi.

The woman, allegedly raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, is battling for life after a truck rammed into the car she was travelling in with some family members and her lawyer. Two of her aunts died in the accident last Sunday.

Taking note of the facts presented, the bench gave liberty to the families of the victim and the lawyer to approach the Supreme Court's secretary general at any point for shifting the to two to AIIMS in Delhi.

"So far as moving the victim and her lawyer out of Lucknow for medical treatment is concerned, as there appears to be some hesitation on the part of the family members at this stage, we defer such movement to await further orders which will be passed on August 5," the bench said.

It further said: "In the even, it becomes so necessary, counsel or Amicus Curiae may make a mention of the matter before Justice Deepak Gupta, through the Secretary General of this Court, at any point of time during the week end."

The apex court also directed shifting of the rape victim's uncle, Mahesh Singh, immediately, "under armed escort" from Raebareli jail to Tihar and the compliance of whjich has to be laid before it on August 5.

Mahesh Singh's wife was in the ill fated car and had died in the accident. He participated in her cremation on Wednesday after the Allahabad High Court granted him parole for a day.

He has been convicted in a 19-year-old case and sentenced to 10-year jail term on a case filed by Sengar's brother, Atul Singh.

The apex court also directed "all concerned, including the print and electronic media to refrain from disclosing the identity of the victim directly or indirectly and in any manner."

Hours after this order was passed, the CBI in the post-lunch session appeared before the bench and sought postponement of transferring the accident case from Lucknow to Delhi court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta placed before the Court a communication received from the concerned competent authority of the CBI stating that the investigation was in progress and arrested accused persons were required to be produced before a local court for their remand.
He submitted that due to the August 1 order transferring the five cases, including the accident case connected with the rape case, the Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Lucknow is facing the problem of jurisdiction and competence to pass orders on applications moved by the CBI, and also to pass remand orders from time to time in connection with the investigation as may be required.

Accepting the agency's submission, the bench said that there was a need for modifying the order to the limited extent relating to the accident case.

The bench said the order transferring the accident case "shall remain in abeyance for the period during which the said case remains under investigation, which we have stipulated in the order dated August 1, 2019, to be completed in a maximum period of 15 days, preferably within 7 days. The order dated 1 August 1, 2019, is modified accordingly". 
 

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