The Delhi High Court Thursday sought CBI's response on a plea by an Uttar Pradesh Police constable challenging framing of charges against him for the alleged murder of the Unnao rape survivor's father and having framed him for possession of illegal arms. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued a notice to the CBI and listed the plea for further consideration on August 30. The high court also called for digital records of the trial court in the Unnao case. Amir Khan, who is in judicial custody, sought quashing of framing of charges, including murder and criminal conspiracy, against him alleging that the August 13 order was "illegal, improper, prejudicial and against established principles of criminal procedure code".
"The trial judge in the impugned proceedings order and charges framed admitted that there is no role of the petitioner in the conspiracy of assaulting/ beatings to the survivor's father. Thus, making the police officials including petitioner (Khan) liable for murder is untenable illegal," the plea said.
His counsel argued in the high court that Khan's role was confined to lodging of FIR and that he signed the memo of recovery of weapon. The woman, allegedly raped by expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, is battling for life after a truck rammed into her car in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli on July 28, killing two of her aunts. Her lawyer was also injured in the accident. In the Unnao case related to her father's death, the trial court on August 13 had charged Sengar and nine others for the offences punishable under sections 302 (murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), 341 (wrongful restraint), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 193 (false evidence) of the IPC and under section 25 of the Arms Act.
The charges framed against them in the Unnao case also included sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 166 (public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person) and 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury) of IPC. The court had also cancelled the bail of three UP police officials -- the then Makhi police station's in-charge Ashok Singh Bhadauria, Sub Inspector Kamta Prasad and Khan -- accused in the case, and sent them into custody after the charge of murder was framed against them.
Khan, in his petition, said that there was no proximity of events in the alleged murder and illegal arms cases and they cannot be clubbed and tried jointly. The plea claimed that the trial court has wrongly clubbed the two cases as one was sessions triable and other was the magisterial triable case. It added that the charge sheet of the murder case was supplied to Khan only after framing of charges which were "grave illegality".
He added that he was directed to record the FIR on the directions of his seniors/ co-accused and being the duty officer, he was bound to record the FIR. If he is liable for conspiracy just for recording the FIR, all the police personnel present in the police station at that time should have been accused in the illegal arms case, the plea said. The trial court had said Kuldeep Sengar along with his aides had entered into a "criminal conspiracy" to deter and silence the Unnao rape survivor's father so that he cannot pursue his complaint.
It had also framed charges under sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture) and 466 (forgery of record of court or of public register) of IPC. The accused persons denied the charges and claimed trial. With charges framed for murder, the maximum punishment entails death penalty while the minimum is life imprisonment. The court had said that 'prima facie' there were grounds to frame joint charges against the accused persons in two cases, including that 43 witnesses in both cases were common. The rape victim's father was arrested on April 3, 2018, and died in judicial custody on April 9, 2018.