Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Friday said that BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused of raping 17-year-old Unnao girl, should be arrested and not just be detained.
The court directed the CBI to carry out investigation strictly in accordance with law and to consider filing an application for cancellation of bail granted to other accused in the case. It also directed the CBI to file status report by May 2.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice Suneet Kumar gave the direction to the agency after the counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government informed it that Sengar has been detained for interrogation and not arrested yet.
The bench passed the order on a letter written by senior advocate Gopal Swaroop Chaturvedi demanding a court-monitored investigation of the incident and treated it as a PIL.
The CBI registered three separate cases in connection with the alleged rape and detained Sengar for questioning in the early hours on Friday.
The cases pertain to the alleged rape, killing of the girl's father and a case of arms act which was slapped on her father in which he was arrested by local police. He had subsequently died in judicial custody and the autopsy report showed serious injuries on his body.
Sengar was taken to the Lucknow office of the CBI, after it took over the probe on Thursday evening.
On Thursday, the high court had asked the Advocate General whether the state government proposes to arrest Sengar.
Advocate General Raghvendra Singh had replied that he was not in a position to make any statement in this regard and police will proceed in accordance with law only after recording statement of the complainant and witnesses.
The BJP MLA from Banagarmau in Uttar Pradesh has been charged under the stringent POCSO Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dealing with rape.
The notice to the CBI to take over the cases was issued on Thursday night, following which the probe agency in a matter of a few hours picked up the BJP lawmaker from his Lucknow home at 4:30 am.
On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court had come down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government, asking that despite FIR why BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was not arrested. The court also asked the government whether it proposes to arrest Sengar.
An FIR was lodged against the BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on Thursday under sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (abduction of woman), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and the case was handed over to the CBI.
All this week, Kuldeep Singh Sengar has moving freely denying the accusation, disparaging the girl and her family and hitting out at the media. Meanwhile, his brother Atul Singh was arrested for a brutal assault on the victim's father, who was not just arrested with severe wounds on his body but died on Monday in police custody. He "had not been treated properly", a Special Investigation Team has found.
On Wednesday night, Sengar made a dramatic appearance outside the house of the police chief in Lucknow, in a convoy of 20 vehicles. "I have come here because TV channels were saying I will surrender," he appeared to taunt reporters, insisting that he was neither a fugitive nor a rapist.
(With inputs from PTI)