The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday stayed the bail granted to Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati in a rape case, ANI reported. The state government had moved the high court seeking cancellation of the bail granted to Prajapati by a special court on Tuesday.

The former minister had been arrested on March 15 for allegedly gangraping a 35-year-old woman and molesting her minor daughter in 2014. Prajapati and two of his accomplices had been grated bail on Tuesday by a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act court.

Prajapati had maintained that he was innocent. “This is a conspiracy to malign me,” he had said after his arrest. He had been absconding after the Supreme Court had directed an FIR against him on February 17. A lookout notice and a non-bailable warrant had been issued against him, and the police had also seized his passport.

On March 7, two of Prajapati’s aides had been arrested in Noida near Jewar on the Yamuna Expressway, while his security guard Chandrapal had been picked up on March 6 near the Police Lines area of Lucknow. The Supreme Court had directed the Uttar Pradesh Police to provide protection to the woman’s family.