Delhi- Uttar Pradesh legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar who was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl who came to him for help to get a job was sentenced to life in jail by a Delhi Court on Friday. The court also ordered him to pay a Rs 25 lakh fine. Of this amount, the judge said, the girl would get Rs 10 lakh as compensation.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar was convicted this week for abducting and raping the girl in 2017. The judge, who had praised the rape survivor for fighting against the powerful politician, observed in his sentencing order on Friday that Kuldeep Singh Sengar had betrayed the trust reposed in him by the people.
At the hearing before judge Dharmesh Sharma delivered his ruling, Kuldeep Singh Sengar had pleaded to keep the monetary penalty to the minimum and not go by his election affidavit that listed his assets to be worth Rs 1.44 crore.
Sengar told the judge that his assets had depreciated significantly since he filed his 2017 election affidavit and he had been the only earning member of the family. So much so, his lawyer told the court, that his family has had to borrow money from relatives to pay the school fee for his daughter.
Judge Dharmesh wasn’t impressed. He noted that Kuldeep Sengar had abused his influence and tried to intimidate the rape survivor and her family.
He also ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to continue her threat assessment every three months.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar raped the survivor in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao on 4 June 2017. Her complaints about the abuse were not acted upon by the police, reportedly on account of the influence wielded by the four-time lawmaker.
In April 2018, her father was beaten up by some people, and allegedly framed and arrested in an arms case.
Her tragic struggle hit national headlines after she attempted self-immolation outside chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence on 8 April 2018, alleging police inaction in the rape case.
The next day, her father died in custody.
When the Allahabad high court took up the case, the UP government’s top law officer opposed action against Sengar till the last moment. When the high court sent a clear message that the judges would let them get away without a proper probe, the government finally registered a case and handed over the case to the CBI.
It was only in July this year that the CBI filed a charge sheet in the rape case.