The Allahabad High Court, on Wednesday, took suo motu cognizance of an incident of rape followed by the custodial death of the victim's father in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice D.B. Bhosle and Justice Suneet Kumar took cognizance of a letter written to it by Senior Advocate Gopal S. Chaturvedi detailing the incident. It has now directed the matter to be heard on 12 April and appointed Mr. Chaturvedi as the amicus curiae.
The case concerns the alleged involvement of MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in the rape of an 18-year-old girl. The survivor had tried to immolate herself outside the Chief Minister's house just a day before her 50-year-old father passed away.
The father was in police custody in Unnao right before he died, prompting the girl to charge that he was killed inside the district jail at the behest of the BJP MLA. The post-mortem reportedly suggested that he died due to shock and septicemia as "all the ante-mortem injuries on the victim’s body were fatal".
During the hearing, the Court noted with disbelief the manner in which the case was handled, observing, "We fail to understand why the Investigating Agency instead of arresting accused persons, they arrested complainant, in connection with this case."
It then agreed to take suo motu cognizance of the incident and directed Additional Chief Standing Counsel for the State Mr. Ramanand Pandey to inform the Advocate General or an Additional Advocate General to appear in the case.