A court in Delhi on Tuesday deferred the sentencing of rape convict MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar till December 20, Live Law reported. The court asked Sengar’s lawyers to submit his nomination papers to ascertain his financial status for determining compensation to the victim.
The court had convicted Sengar on Monday for raping a minor in 2017.
The Central Bureau of Investigation argued before the court on Tuesday that Sengar must be given the maximum possible sentence. “Based on Supreme Court guidelines, court must not show leniency in sentencing,” Public Prosecutor Ashok Bhartendu argued, citing a prior case.
“The accused deserves maximum punishment. This has been a case of an individual fighting the system,” Bhartendu argued. “From the very inception, this case has been a quest for justice.” The CBI lawyer also sought compensation for the complainant in the case. He added that the amount of compensation should be determined by examining Sengar’s financial status.
“But compensation to the tune of Rs 25 lakh has already been given,” the judge said. “Uttar Pradesh state has provided her with accommodation facilities. Is there still more that needs to be given? Do you think that is required?” To these questions, Bhartendu replied in the affirmative.
Advocate Tanvir Mir, representing Sengar, said that the legislator has been an MLA four times and highlighted his achievements. Mir said that Sengar has done a lot of work for people, including ensuring certain bridges were constructed in his district, Unnao, and social work in villages in his constituency.
“Court must take into account his work for society and his record...it must take lenient view and give minimum sentence,” Mir pleaded. “I request the court to consider that throughout his stay in Tihar [Jail], he’s displayed good conduct.” The lawyer added that Sengar had not been a “menace” to society.
Mir argued that since a penalty has already been imposed on Sengar, compensation should not be awarded to the complainant. “There is no amount of compensation that would be able to repair the injury caused,” Judge Dharmesh Sharma said in response.
On Monday, the court acquitted the other accused in the case, Shashi Singh. The charges were framed under Sections 120 b (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage), 376 (rape) and other relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
District Judge Dharmesh Sharma had reserved his judgement on December 10 after hearing the arguments of the CBI and the MLA’s lawyer. The proceedings were held in camera. The judge heard the case on a daily basis from August 5 after it was transferred from a court in Lucknow to Delhi on the Supreme Court’s directions.
There are multiple cases in connection with the woman and the crimes allegedly committed against her.
In July, the complainant was involved in a car crash in which two of her aunts, one of whom was a crucial witness in the rape case, were killed. The complainant and her lawyer were also severely injured, and the family had alleged Sengar was behind the car crash. There is a case of conspiracy currently ongoing in this regard.
The woman’s father had also been arrested in an illegal arms case, in which he had allegedly been framed, in April 2018. He died in judicial custody a few days later and a murder case was filed against Sengar, his brother and nine others.
There is also a separate gangrape case involving the complainant and Sengar.