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CJ suspends Judge who granted bail to rape accused SP leader Gayatri Prajapati

Last Modified Saturday, 29 April 2017 (13:11 IST)
Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court has suspended court special judge for granting in a suspicious manner to former UP minister Gayatri Prajapati in a case. The suspension of the judge, who was to retire from the service tomorrow, was ordered last night. The court has set up a one-member inquiry committee headed by Justice Sudhir Agarwal to probe into the matter by tomorrow. Officials confirmed about the suspension of the judge here today.
 

The judge was suspended after Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court Dilip B Bhosale yesterday stayed the bail granted to Prajapati and made some adverse comment on the way the special judge granted bail to the gangrape accused. The UP government had moved the High Court seeking cancellation of the bail. Earlier, Prajapati's bail from the court had raised many a eyebrows. During investigation, the senior officers found that the Investigation Officer(IO) of the case was probably compromised. He hadn't shared the details of the investigation with his superior officers. A local court here on April 25, granted bail to Prajapati and his two accomplices in the much publicised molestation and threatening case.
 
Special judge of the Posco Court, Om Prakash Mishra, granted bail to the tainted minister, along with two others -- Pintu Singh and Vikas Verma. The Minister was arrested in Lucknow by police on March 14 after the Gautampalli police station in the state Capital lodged the FIR on the directives of the Supreme Court on February 17. The court had sought the case diary from the police and later granted bail in the molestation and threat charges case against the former Minister and his accomplices. In the charges, the former Minister was alleged to have molested the minor daughter of a woman after threatening her.
 
Prajapati is presently lodged in the Lucknow Jail. On the other hand, the state Police department sources said the outgoing SSP Manjil Saini sought explanation from the Hazratganj CO who was assigned investigation of the case after the same was taken back from Amita Singh. Ms Singh, who now is now Bakshi-Ka-Talab CO, was accused of playing harassing tactics to cower the victim to change her statement or give weak statement so that it favoured the accused. He was also accused of kidnapping the minor daughter of the victim from Chitrakoot and a case was registered with Karvi police station there. As the controversy escalated, Saini assigned the probe to Awanish Kumar.
 
The sources said that Awanish Kumar did nothing and presented the chargesheet directly in court. “Awanish Kumar did not inform about the same to any of his seniors in the department and it was blatant violation of the practice in the Police department,” the sources said. They said as per standard practice in police parlance, an IO (irrespective of his post) had to present the report to his senior for a review before he/she put the chargesheet before court. The case was registered in the Gautampalli police station on February 18 following the directive of Supreme Court.
 
The woman complainant, who hails from Chitrakoot, had visited Prajapati’s official residence in Gautampalli in connection with a project related to mining work in 2014. She had alleged that Prajapati’s close aide Ashok Tiwari gave her drinks laced with sedatives after which Prajapati and his aides raped her and filmed the incident. “They kept blackmailing me by threatening to make the video clip public. I was helpless and followed their diktat. Prajapati also invited me to his birthday party and the group raped me there. I, along with my minor daughter, had visited minister’s residence on the day. The Minister and his men also tried to force themselves upon my daughter,” she had alleged in the complaint. In the case, (crime number 29/2017) besides Prajapati, his aides identified as Ashok Tiwari, Pintu Singh, Vikas Verma, Chandrapal, Rupesh and Ashish Shukla were also named. (UNI)
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