Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday expressed displeasure over not being shown a letter that the Unnao rape complainant reportedly wrote to him two weeks before she was in a car accident. In her letter, the woman had told Gogoi of a threat to her life, reports said.
The court will take up the letter on Thursday.
Seeking a report from the Supreme Court’s secretary general on why the letter was not placed before him, Gogoi said, according to PTI: “Unfortunately, the letter is yet to see the light of the day and yet the newspapers flashed it as if I have read the letter.”
Gogoi made the remark when senior lawyer V Giri sought urgent listing of the rape case. The court also asked authorities in Uttar Pradesh to file a status report by Thursday on the car crash.
“This morning I read in the papers that the Unnao victim had written to the Supreme Court,” Gogoi said, according to NDTV. “I was informed about the letter yesterday. I have not yet seen the letter. It is yet to be placed before me.”
On Sunday, the 19-year-old complainant was critically injured when her car was hit by a truck in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district. She and her lawyer are in serious condition, while two of her aunts died in the collision. The injured are undergoing treatment at the trauma centre of King George’s Medical University in Lucknow.
The teenager’s family has blamed aides of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar for the crash crash. Sengar has been in prison since April 2018 for allegedly raping her.
News reports on Tuesday said that the complainant had written a letter to Gogoi on July 12 saying that some of Sengar’s aides had threatened her family. She also sought directions for registration of a case against those who had intimidated her family, The Indian Express reported. The woman had reportedly sent the letter to the Allahabad High Court and authorities of the Uttar Pradesh government as well.
However, Unnao Superintendent of Police Madhawa Prasad Verma told The Indian Express that the woman and her family had complaints earlier too, but police station records showed that inquiries held into the complaints found the allegations to be untrue. The family has made 25 complaints since July 2018 about threats from the MLA, his family and his associates, Verma said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, which has been looking into the rape case, has now taken over the inquiry into the car crash as well. The agency booked Sengar and 10 others on murder charges in connection with the accident, PTI reported.
The MLA was arrested on April 13, 2018, after the girl accused him of raping her in June 2017, when she visited his home to ask for a job. The complainant accused the police of not taking any action when she approached them after the alleged incident.