Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar sentenced life imprisonment in Unnao rape case

Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a woman in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, in 2017.

“This court does not find any mitigating circumstance. Sengar was public servant and betrayed people’s faith,” District Judge Dharmesh Sharma said, turning down the plea for lenient approach in sentencing him.

“The convict Kuldeep Singh Sengar is hereby sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of his natural biological life in terms of Section 376 (2) Indian Penal Code,” the court added.

He has also been asked to deposit Rs 25 lakh within a month; Rs 10 lakh of which will be paid as compensation to the rape survivor. Failure to deposit the amount, the court warned, will lead to seizure of property to ensure compensation is provided to the family.

The court has directed the CBI to continue assessing threat perception of the survivor and her family members every three months and directed the family continue to reside in rented accommodation made available by Delhi Commission for Women for one more year. The rent of the accommodation will be paid by the UP government, it said.

The court had on Monday convicted Kuldeep Sengar for rape under the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act. The co-accused Shashi Singh, who allegedly took the minor to Sengar, has been acquitted over “benefit of the doubt”.

The judge praised the rape survivor for “fighting against a powerful person” and slammed the foisting of false cases against her family. The judge also questioned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over delays in filing a chargesheet.

The case was being heard on a day-to-day basis at Delhi’s Tis Hazari court since August 5 after it was transferred to Delhi from a Lucknow court on the Supreme Court’s directions.

Sengar, a four-time BJP MLA from Bangermau in Unnao district, was expelled from the party in August 2019. Apart from the rape case he is being tried in four other cases — framing of the rape survivor’s father in illegal firearms case, his death in judicial custody, conspiracy of Sengar with others in the accident case and a separate gang rape case of the survivor by three others.