‘Not month, finish in 7 days’: SC fast-tracks CBI probe in Unnao rape, accident

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi indicated he was inclined to transfer all cases relating to the Unnao rape survivor out of Uttar Pradesh.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday set a 7-day deadline for the CBI to complete the probe into the car crash that killed two relatives of the Unnao rape survivor. The teenager, who had taken on an influential BJP lawmaker, and her lawyer were critically injured in the same accident. The teenager is on life support.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta wanted the top court to give the federal investigating agency a month to probe. “A month? No not at all. Finish it in seven days,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told the CBI during the hearing. The top court’s bench will hear the case again at 2 pm when a final order is expected to be passed. The judges will also decide if the rape suvivor should be airlifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences if the doctors so require.

The bench, which had taken up the SOS that the Unnao rape survivor had sent to the Chief Justice of India, had earlier asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director to depute a ‘responsible officer’ of the agency in the court by noon. The judges wanted the officer to give them complete details of what had transpired during the agency’s investigation before it takes a call on transferring the case out of Uttar Pradesh. When the hearing resumed at 12 noon, CBI joint director Sampat Meena was present in the court.

The CBI had taken over investigations into the rape of the Unnao teenager last year on orders of the Allahabad High Court that concluded the Uttar Pradesh police was dragging its feet. Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a four-time BJP MLA, was eventually arrested last year on the high court’s orders.

But the 19-year-old rape survivor and her family alleged that the lawmaker’s arrest did not stop the threats that she faced. Over the last 16 months, they wrote 36 letters of the authorities. At least one of them was to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. But the Chief Justice learnt of the letter only after a car crash with a truck killed two of the teenager’s aunts. The teenager and her lawyer who were critically injured in the accident are struggling for life.

CJI Gogoi appeared unhappy in court yesterday when he underlined that the teenager’s letter dated July 12 had not been placed before him.

As it took up the case today, the bench led by Chief Justice Gogoi indicated that it was inclined to transfer the trial of the four cases being investigated by the CBI out of Uttar Pradesh.

“We will also transfer all the cases but only after interacting with a responsible officer of the CBI,” said Chief Justice Gogoi. The court has received a bunch of requests by the teenager’s mother to transfer the daughter’s cases to Delhi.

Source: Hindustan Times