Udayavni Special

Unnao case: ‘In-camera’ proceedings to record rape survivor’s statement begins at AIIMS


PTI, Sep 11, 2019, 12:22 PM IST

New Delhi: ‘In-camera’ proceedings commenced on Wednesday at AIIMS here, where a temporary court has been set up for recording the Unnao rape survivor’s statement in the case of alleged sexual assault by expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in 2017.

The woman’s statement is being recorded by District Judge Dharmesh Sharma.

‘In-camera’ proceedings are not open to the public and the press.

Sengar, along with co-accused Shashi Singh, was brought to the temporary court at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, where the woman is presently admitted following an accident on July 28.

The Delhi High Court had on Friday approved recording the rape survivor’s statement at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Trauma Centre.

A notification to this effect was issued by the high court from the administrative side, which said special judge Sharma, who is conducting trial of the cases, shall record her testimony.

The rape survivor was air-lifted from a Lucknow hospital to Delhi on the Supreme Court orders.

The high court notification came after the apex court during the day asked it to expeditiously decide on the request of a special judge for setting up a temporary court at the AIIMS to record the Unnao rape survivor’s statement.

The special judge had recently written a letter to the Delhi High Court seeking permission to hold in-camera proceedings at the AIIMS for recording the woman’s statement after doctors said it was “not advisable” to bring her to the court premises.

Sharma informed the Registrar General of the high court that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the woman and her family have “no objection” to such deposition.

The apex court also directed the CBI to complete within two weeks its probe and file the charge sheet in the road accident case, in which the rape survivor was injured.

It also indicated that if the special judge needed more than 45 days to complete the proceedings, then it may consider the request.

While transferring the cases related to the Unnao incident to Delhi, the Supreme Court had fixed a time limit of 45 days for the trial court to complete the proceedings.

The apex court had earlier said it wanted “fair and speedy trial” in the cases arising out of the rape of the woman, when she was a minor, allegedly by now expelled BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar in Unnao in 2017.

In July, a truck rammed into the car she was travelling in with some family members and her lawyer. Two of her aunts died in the road accident.

She was airlifted from a hospital in Lucknow and brought to the AIIMS for better care as she continued to be critical.

On August 1, the apex court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide Rs 25 lakh to the rape survivor as an interim compensation.

It had also directed the state government to pay Rs 5 lakh to the lawyer, who is in a critical condition and undergoing treatment.

The court had earlier ordered transfer of all the five related cases in the matter to Delhi but later modified its order putting in abeyance shifting of the accident case till the probe was completed.

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