A court in Delhi on Friday sentenced former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar to life imprisonment for raping a minor in 2017, ANI reported. The court also ordered him to pay Rs 25-lakh compensation to the complainant.
On Tuesday, the court had deferred the hearing till Friday, and asked Sengar’s lawyers to submit his nomination papers to ascertain his financial status for determining compensation to the complainant. The court had convicted Sengar of rape on Monday
The Central Bureau of Investigation told 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.
Defence advocate Tanvir Mir said Sengar was a four-time MLA, and highlighted his achievements. Mir said Sengar had done a lot of work for people, including getting bridges built in Unnao and social work in villages. He urged the court to take all this into account while sentencing.
Mir argued that since a penalty of Rs 25 lakh had already been imposed on Sengar the victim should not be compensated. “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 had acquitted Shashi Singh, the other accused in the case. District Judge Dharmesh Sharma had reserved his judgement on December 10. 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 committed against her. In July, the victim 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 alleged Sengar was behind the car crash. A conspiracy case is currently going on in this matter.
The woman’s father had also been arrested in an illegal arms case 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 victim and Sengar.