Prajapati was granted interim bail by Allahabad High Court’s Justice Ved Prakash Vaish; now there is a case of cancellation of this bail
Lucknow: The case of former UP minister Gayatri Prajapati has become murkier, with a shocking revelation that the prosecutrix, the woman about whom gang rape charges had been levelled against the minister, had herself filed an affidavit in court, denying all allegations. The woman’s previous lawyer, Dinesh Chandra Tripathi, has filed a complaint against his own client in this regard at the Ghazipur Police Station, saying that she now wants cases against the minister to be dropped.
The ex-minister had just been granted interim bail by the Allahabad high Court for a two-month period on medical grounds saying that the threat of Covid for Prajapati was real.
The case dates back to 2017. Prajapati was again arrested by Lucknow police yesterday, for allegedly striking a deal with the alleged survivor to drop the charges.
Prajapati has now been remanded to 14-days custody of Lucknow Police. Police has registered a FIR on charges of cheating & dishonesty, criminal intimidation, forgery for the purpose of cheating and fraudulently using a genuine document.
It has been alleged by Tripathi that the prosecutrix, who is from Chitrakoot, has received a huge sum of money as well as plots of land – worth Rs 1.5 crore in Aashiana – from Prajapati to drop all charges.
Tripathi added in his FIR:
The entire case has now turned into a mudbath.
The granting of interim bail to Prajapati, a former SP leader and an accused in a gang rape case of a minor, as well as a man accused in money laundering as minister, had raised many questions and more eyebrows. The bail was granted to this super felon on the flimsy ground that the threat to the ex-minister from COVID-19 was real and imminent. The bail was granted by the Allahabad High Court for two months.
Prajapati has shown now why he wanted that bail, that period of time in which he could finalise the deal with the prosecutrix.
However, that judgment of Allahabad High Court judge, Justice Ved Prakash Vaish, was not shocking enough, there was more to come. Immediately after Prajapati was granted bail the prosecutrix (in the POCSO gang rape case), changed her statement. This has now been proved, by her affidavit.
That statement had been recorded under 161 CrPC. Under normal circumstances, this is a direct obstruction of justice which is excellent ground for cancellation of bail. Now that Prajapati has been arrested again this case of cancellation of bail assumes greater importance.
Such incidents also erode the trust of the common man in the judicial system of India. For all practical purposes, it is India’s judicial system which has stood the test of time through decades of political interference and manipulations. Trust is the only tenuous link of faith that the public has with the most important pillar of our democracy.
Before we examine the extraordinary incident in detail, let us go through the incidents just before yesterday’s unbelievable one.
The order was passed by Justice Vaish on the second bail application moved on Prajapati’s behalf. Judge Vaish was transferred from Delhi High Court to Meghalaya High Court, before he was again transferred to Allahabad High Court.
The applicant/accused is an under-trial in Case registered in Feb 2017 under Sections 376(D), 354A(I), 504, 506, 509 of the I.P.C. and Section 5 and 6 of the POCSO Act, 2012 registered at Police Station Gautampalli, district Lucknow. He, along with others, is accused of raping a woman and of also attempting to molest her minor daughter. The court directed him to surrender before the trial court or jail superintendent after the expiry of two months’ bail.
Pleas for treatment
During his bail hearing his lawyers pleaded that he was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case. It was also stated that statements of the prosecutrix and a doctor were recorded before the trial court in which they did not support the prosecution’s case. The lawyers further submitted that Prajapati was suffering from serious ailments of which no treatment was available in jail hospital or KGMU. The lawyers demanded that Prajapati be released for a short period to avail medical treatment. Opposing the plea, the state government counsel said that Prajapati was being given adequate medical treatment.
While granting bail, the court imposed some conditions on him. It directed the former minister to surrender his passport and told him not leave the country without prior permission of the trial court. It also directed him not to threaten the prosecutrix and her family, and not to coerce prosecution witnesses. The court directed him to furnish two sureties of Rs 2 lakh each and a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh for his release. Prajapati had been in jail since March 15, 2017 and is currently undergoing treatment for various ailments at KGMU.
Original plea rejected by Allahabad High Court
On July 18, 2017, the Additional Session Judge charged Gayatri Prasad Prajapati and three others — Vikas Verma, Ashish Shukla and Ashok Tiwari – for offences under the IPC and the POCSO Act, based on the evidence and facts presented by the victim and her daughter. When the accused move to the Allahabad High Court for revision of the Session Court’s order and quashing of the charges against them, the Court denied the request and found no irregularity or infirmity or jurisdictional error in the trial court’s order, to necessitate the High Court’s interference. At this point one may note that Justice Vaish joined the Allahabad High Court on November 27, 2017.
In 2018 the apex court denied him bail as the case had not been made out yet and the prosecutrix had yet to be examined in the trial. While asking the trial court to expedite the trial, liberty was given to Prajapati to renew his request for bail before the trial court after the deposition of the complainant is recorded.
In 2019 Ganpati Prjapati was accused for money laundering, when an FIR was filed against him and five others in the infamous multi crore mining scam in UP. Gayatri Prajapati, who was a former mining minister, along with five IAS officers, was charged with offences under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at its Lucknow regional office in August 2019. The FIRs lodged against them came after the CBI, which was investigating the mining scam in UP during the Samajwadi Party regime between 2012 and 2016, registered a case on January 2, 2019 concerning alleged illegal mining of minor minerals, including sand mining in Hamirpur district, during the period 2012-2016.
The accused IAS officers were posted in different districts where illegal mining took place and at the mining directorate in Lucknow.
The CBI had registered the FIRs for illegal mining after the Allahabad High Court directed it to investigate allegations of illegal mining in Shamli, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Siddhartha Nagar and Deoria districts.
While hearing a public interest litigation in July, 2016, the High Court had directed the CBI to investigate the anomalies.
The final attempt
Prajapati succeeded in his final attempt. He got bail. The fact that a prosecutrix, who has doggedly followed and pushed the case for so long immediately changed her statement itself calls for an inquiry. As said before, this is prime reason for cancellation of the bail of Prajapati.
There is no forgetting that Prajapati is an influential person, with deep pockets of unaccounted funds. Using his money and muscle power on anybody would not be a difficult task for Prajapati, as soon as he gets out of jail, even for two months. These two months was all he needed to puts his plans of shutting mouths, changing statements and maybe more.
FIR Attached Here;
-India Legal Bureau