On Wednesday, a Delhi Court dismissed a plea for addition of charges in the Unnao rape case against expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor in 2017.
The Mother of rape survivor had sought that fresh charges under sections 376(2)(f) & (k) (penetrative sexual assault by a person in a position of trust & control over the woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) be invoked against the accused.
District Judge Dharmesh Sharma said there was no merit in the plea moved by the counsel of the rape survivor & her family.
On Wednesday, the Court examined one more witness, during the in-camera trial, the sixth person to be examined since the trial began in the national capital from Aug 16.
The court put up the matter for further hearing on Aug 26.
Charges framed against Sengar & co-accused Shashi Singh earlier by the Court were under sections 376(1) (rape), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage etc.), 120B (criminal conspiracy) & 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) & sections 5(c) & 6 (penetrative sexual assault by a public servant) of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
“I find no merit in the present application. Firstly, the application has not been supported by the CBI. Moreover, since a specific charge under section 5(c) of the POCSO Act has already been framed, I do not see how sections 376(2)(f) & (k) of the IPC become applicable merely because Sengar is a ‘public servant’,” the Judge said in Wednesday’s order.
Life imprisonment is the maximum punishment for the offences entailed, which may not necessarily mean for the remainder of the convict’s natural life.
The plea had been opposed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), saying since charges were already framed against Sengar, the new provisions were not applicable.
The plea had said section 376(2)(f) of the IPC applied as being the local MLA, Sengar was in a position of trust or authority as the rape survivor was a voter in the area.
Charges should also be framed under section 376(2)(k) of the IPC as the legislator was also in a position of control or dominance over the girl or her family members since they were voters of his constituency, the plea further said.