SC to pass orders on plea against interim bail to ex-UP minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati in gang rape case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it would pass orders on October 15 on a plea of Uttar Pradesh government challenging the interim bail of two months granted to gang rape accused and former state minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati on medical grounds by the Allahabad High Court.

The verdict was reserved by a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah which heard the arguments of Additional Solicitor General ASV Raju on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government and senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who represented Prajapati.

Prajapati, who was a minister in the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government, along with others, is accused of raping a woman and attempting to molest her minor daughter.

At the outset, Raju read out Prajapati’s medical report and said that the medical board had stated that he can be treated in the jail itself.

He said that Prajapati has been in jail for months and his condition is said to be stable. Raju added that Prajapati requires no hospitalization for his treatment.

The bench also inquired about the regular bail of the accused and the law officer said it is still pending.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Prajapati, said that his regular bail has not been decided since May last year and the high court has restrained itself from deciding his applications, as this case was pending.

Inhuman treatment in jail and threat to a person’s health are the grounds which cannot be overlooked in the matter, he said, adding that his eight medical reports shows that he is ill, diabetic and suffering from other ailments.

The bench said it is reserving order in the matter and would pronounce its verdict on October 15.

On September 21, the top court had stayed Prajapati’s interim bail, granted for two months on medical grounds by the High Court.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on September 3 had granted the interim bail to Prajapati but he remained in judicial custody as a fresh case of fraud, forgery and criminal intimidation was registered against him.

The state government, in its appeal, said that the “High Court has erroneously granted a short-term bail of two months to the Respondent accused in a POCSO case solely on medical grounds ignoring that the accused has throughout been treated in premier national medical Institutes KGMC / SG-PGI, also specially when the regular bail application of the Respondent has already been fixed for hearing in the week commencing September 28”.

It said the accused was a “very prominent Minister in the erstwhile government and wielded considerable influence in the environs of powers”.

The political position of the accused was so dominating that the FIR against him was registered only after the victim approached the Supreme Court, the UP government said.

The high court, while granting the bail, had said the threat to the ex-minister from COVID-19 was real and imminent and he has been asked by doctors to get treated at a super-specialty hospital as he was suffering from various diseases.

Prajapati has been in jail since March 15, 2017 and is currently undergoing treatment for various ailments at KGMU.

The gang rape case was lodged with Gautampalli police station in 2017 and later, Prajapati was arrested and sent to jail on March 15, 2017.

He was earlier granted bail by a sessions court in the case but it was cancelled by the high court before his release from jail.

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