Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

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BACKGROUND OF THE CASE

  • The petitioner alleged that there was a conspiracy between Sengar and his aides. Moreover, they conducted the collision between a truck and a vehicle boarded by the Unnao Rape survivor, her counsel, and two aunts.
  • The collision caused the immediate death of her two aunts, while the victim and her counsel survived, sustaining grievous injuries.
  • Thereby, a case of murder was registered with the Uttar Pradesh police against Sengar and his aides.
  • After the CBI investigation was completed, they discarded the possibility of any existing criminal conspiracy involved in committing the murder or attempted to murder the victim and her family members.
  • Still unsatisfied by the investigation, the victim's uncle, the complainant, moved a protest petition challenging the investigation's findings, stating that the death and injuries were only due to rash and negligent driving.
  • They further alleged that the accident was completely conducted at the direction of the accused Sengar to prevent the victim from providing any more evidence against him.
  • They alleged the collaboration of the accused Sengar with the higher-ups, as CBI officials have overlooked that many witnesses relating to the incident and accident were threatened to present different statements to arrive at botched-up findings.

ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT

The Court was looking for an answer, whether the CBI conducted a defective investigation. Did it leave certain aspects unanswered to shield the real culprits or present a distorted or perfunctory scenario for the commission of the alleged offenses?

FINDINGS OF THE CBI

  • Statistical data relating to road accidents led death was submitted to the Court, which showed that only a handful of people abide by road safety measures. The majority are known for reckless and negligent driving, breaking the traffic rules and norms, and very rarely do people get concerned with the rising road accidents and road rage incidents.
  • According to the statistics on the Website of the Government of India, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, it shows that there is a death per minute due to road accidents in our country. Further, it also revealed that in 2019, 4,49,002 motor accidents had taken place, which resulted in 1,51,113 deaths and injuring about 5,41,361 persons.
  • Keeping in mind the public sentiments and media sensation, the Court noted that one could not doubt each aspect of the CBI investigation, as it is coming out with a good version of the incident.
  • This accident did have a cascading effect on the citizen, leading to huge public outcry and invited intervention by the Hon'ble Supreme Courtand gave voice to the voiceless complainant party in their fight for justice.
  • While referring to a catena of judicial precedents on fair trial and criminal conspiracy, Justice Sharma noted that even though the objections of the complainant party ‘read like an engrossing, thrilling story, but is based on mere surmises and conjectures.
  • The Court gave strong remarks about the initial investigation done by UP Police. It referred to the investigation as 'tainted, lopsided and attempted to conclude hastily to pose the incident as a roadside accident to please the superiors and the political masters.
  • Sengar, his brother, and five other people were convicted for the death of the rape survivor's father in judicial custody on 4th March 2020, and all of them were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

OBSERVATION BY THE COURT

  • Upholding the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI] investigation, the Court ruled out any chance of foul play and conspiracy in the 2019 Unnao rape survivor car accident case. It refused to take cognizance against former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was involved in the case.
  • It refused to take cognizance against former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is sentenced to life imprisonment for committing the rape of the Unnao woman under Section 302 and 307 of the Indian Penal Code. He, with his aides, was also charged under Section 120B, read with Section 506 Part-II IPC for criminal intimidation.
  • Instead, the Court has framed charges against the truck driver for the offense of causing death by negligence under Section 304-A, 338, read with Section 279 of IPC. Kuldeep Sengar, and his aides.
  • District & Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma noted that on the prima facie level, all the relevant aspects of the incident were thoroughly inquired, scanned, and investigated by the CBI. Moreover, the findings by the CBI appear to conform to common sense, logic, and fair play.
  • The Court also remarked that the observations are not certifying to the investigation done by CBI, nor is it giving it a clean sheet, but no grounds can be conferred, which would suggest that investigation conducted by the CBI has been perfunctory, ill-motivated, or unsubstantiated in any manner.
  • All the investigations done would be tested during the trial.
  • But this Court is not trying to tie the hands of the CBI to conduct further investigation, just in case, they come across any incriminating material linked with the accused party consisting any criminal conspiracy to murder or attempt to murder any member of the complainant party.

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