The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court has put a stay on the order of the MP/MLA court granting bail to former UP minister Gayatri Prajapati accused of gang rape and many other cases.
Additional sessions judge, MP/MLA court had granted bail to Gayatri Prajapati in July this year.
On October 5, a single-judge bench of Justice Rajeev Singh said: “Till the next date of listing, operation and implementation of the order dated 14.07.2021 in case of crime no. 537 of 2020, under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 506, 386, 388,120-B I.P.C., police station-Ghazipur, District Lucknow, shall be kept in abeyance.”
“District and Sessions Judge, Lucknow, is directed to send the complete record of Bail Application no. 08 of 2021 decided by Special Judge, M.P. M.L.A./Additional Sessions Judge, Court No.19, Lucknow, forthwith,” the court further stated.
The bail order granted by the MP/MLA court was opposed by the additional advocate general Vinod Kumar Shahi, appearing on behalf of the state government.
Shahi informed the court that Prajapati has been imprisoned since March 15, 2017. He was arrested in a case of gang rape of a 40-year-old woman and attempt to rape her minor daughter. Later a first information report (FIR) was also lodged against him on September 17, 2020 in another case.
He argued, “This means Gayatri Prajapati had a criminal history. But this fact was neglected by the court (MP/MLA court) while granting bail”.
The MP/MLA court while granting bail to Prajapati, observed that the prosecution (government advocate) didn’t place any criminal history of the opposite party (Gayatri Prajapati) before the court. Shahi briefed the court about seven criminal cases lodged against the minister. The court dated the case for the next hearing on November 16.
Additional advocate general (AAG) Vinod Kumar Shahi submitted before the court that a lady was allegedly administered some intoxicating substance and was subsequently raped by the opposite party (Gayatri Prajapati) as well as other accused persons. Some obscene photographs of the victim were also clicked.
Shah also intimated to the court that, based on the same incident, she was blackmailed and compelled to establish physical relations with the accused persons.
The lady then approached the nearest police station wherein the police officials refused to register an FIR against Gayatri Prajapati as he was a minister in the then ruling government (Samajwadi Party). She thus filed a petition before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India seeking registration of an FIR.
On February 17, 2017, the Supreme Court passed an order in the aforesaid writ petition and directed the concerned police station to register the FIR on the basis of the complaint. The court further directed the police to investigate the matter. The court also directed to submit the investigation report in a sealed cover within seven weeks from the date of order.
Hence, on February 18, 2017, an FIR was lodged at the Gautam Palli police station, Lucknow, against Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, Ashok Tiwari, Pintu Singh, Vikash Verma, Chandra Pal, Rupesh and Ashish Shukla. All the accused were charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act.