SC stays HC order granting bail to ex-UP minister in gang rape case

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The Supreme Court Monday stayed former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati’s interim bail, granted for two months on medical grounds by the Allahabad High Court, in a gang rape case.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on September 3 had granted the interim bail to Prajapati who was a minister in the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government.

Despite the high court bail, Prajapati remained in judicial custody as a fresh case of fraud, forgery and criminal intimidation was registered against him.

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A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah took note of the plea of the Uttar Pradesh government and stayed the high court’s bail order and sought response of the accused leader on the petition.

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The state government, in its appeal, said that the “High Court has erroneously granted a short-term bail of two months to the Respondent accused in a POCSO case solely on medical grounds ignoring that the accused has throughout been treated in premier national medical Institutes KGMC / SG-PGI, also specially when the regular bail application of the Respondent has already been fixed for hearing in the week commencing September 28”.

It said the accused was a “very prominent Minister in the erstwhile government and wielded considerable influence in the environs of powers”. The political position of the accused was so dominating that the FIR against him was registered only after the victim approached the Supreme Co.urt, the UP government said.

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The high court, while granting the bail, had said the threat to the ex-minister from COVID-19 was real and imminent and he has been asked by doctors to get treated at a super-specialty hospital as he was suffering from various diseases. Prajapati is in jail since March 15, 2017 and is currently undergoing treatment for various ailments at KGMU.

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He, along with others, is accused of raping a woman and attempting to molest her minor daughter. The gang ra.pe case was lodged with Gautampalli police station in 2017 and later, Prajapati was arrested and sent to jail on March 15, 2017. He was earlier granted bail by a sessions court in the case but it was cancelled by the high co.urt before his release from jail.

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