A close aide of rape-accused Samajwadi Party (SP) minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati surrendered before the Lucknow Police on Monday (March 6) soon after the Supreme Court refused to grant relief to the Uttar Pradesh transport minister in a gang rape case. Prajapati is still absconding.
Head Constable Chandrapal, who surrendered before the Lucknow Police, is one of the seven accused of gang-raping a woman in 2014. The apex court on Monday refused to stay the arrest of Prajapati, who has been missing since February 27 after an FIR was filed against him. The court said the UP Police will decide whether the minister should be arrested or not. Prajapati had approached the SC seeking a stay on his arrest.
"The law should take its course if there is a non-bailable warrant against him. Prajapati can approach concerned court for seeking bail if he is arrested," the SC said, adding that the order was restricted to the registration of the FIR only and it was unfortunately being given a political colour.
A local court also issued a non-bailable warrant against Prajapati on Saturday (March 4) after having impounded his passport. UP Governor Ram Naik wrote to state's Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday (March 5) asking him as to why Prajapati was still a minister in his cabinet despite the gang rape charges.
The rape survivor had moved the SC alleging that Prajapati and six others had committed the crime at his Lucknow residence in 2014. She added that the minister then blackmailed her with photographs of the crime to stop her from approaching the police. The victime alleged that her daughter, who is a minor, was also a victim of a similar assault in 2016.
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