Badaun (Uttar Pradesh), November 1: After waiting for 13 long years, a gang rape victim finally has got justice when the court sentenced a former MLA to life imprisonment in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun. The guilty has also been slapped with a fine of Rs. 30 thousand, which if not paid, a further period of three months’ imprisonment will be added to the term.

Based on the directions of the special court, Yogendra Sagar, the former Uttar Pradesh MLA, has been taken into custody and sent to jail. The other accused in the case have already been sentenced to life imprisonment.

On April 23, 2008, the victim’s father, a resident of Bilsi in Badaun, approached the police to file a missing person’s report. His daughter a second year BA student of the local degree college who had gone to borrow notes from her friend and had gone missing. The Uttar Pradesh police neither registered any complaint nor did they try to find her.

Frustrated and exasperated he again approached the police on May 1, 2008. This time the police thankfully took note of his grievance and filed a complaint. Later on May 4, 2008, the complaint was converted into a kidnapping case. Finally the police found her after 25 days at Muzaffarnagar railway station on May 17, 2008.   

On her return, the victim shared her ordeal and named Neeraj Sharma alias Meenu and Tajendra Sagar alongwith two unknown people who had abducted her after intoxicating and took her to the official residence of BSP MLA Yogendra Sagar in Lucknow. She alleged that she was kept intoxicated for several days and repeatedly gang raped by MLA Yogendra Sagar, Neeraj Sharma and Tejendra Sagar. They did not stop at this, they later took her to Delhi where again she was repeatedly gang raped.

On July 16, 2014, the court had sentenced Neeraj Sharma and Tejendra Sagar to life imprisonment.

On Saturday, Judge Akhilesh Kumar reviewed all the evidence on the case, heard the arguments of ADGC Madanlal Rajput, advocate Arvind Sharma and the defense counsel, and pronounced his sentenced on the former MLA Yogendra Sagar.

The victim’s brother who stood with the victim in such dire situation, said that they had full faith in judiciary and are happy that the MLA Yogendra Sagar has been punished for his atrocities, but it took a really long period of 13 years. However, he added that the people’s confidence in justice will be strengthened following this decision.

While sentencing the former MLA, the court said that in such a case, if proper punishment is not given, the court would’ve deviated from its path. Society and the public will then loose faith in the judicial system, if the court does not protect the aggrieved. In such a situation, the aggrieved might even take the path of vengeance. In the present case the helpless victim cannot be expected to resist an act by people having political connections and hence a strict and just decision was extremely necessary.