A former legislator from northern Uttar Pradesh state Kuldeep Sengar, who was since been expelled from the BJP, took the appeal against his conviction to a higher court on Wednesday.
The case grabbed media headlines in 2018 after the rape victim tried to commit suicide outside state chief Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow, after the state police failed to take action against the powerful legislator.
Later the girl’s father died in police custody. Police claimed the cause of his death was “blood poisoning due to perforation of colon”. But a post-mortem report listed multiple injuries and abrasions around his arms, thighs, buttocks, knees and abdomen.
The Supreme Court of India, took note of a letter written by the victim to the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, complaining that her life was in danger.
The apex court then ordered the case to be transferred to a Delhi court. It also asked the government to provide federal security for the accuser and her lawyer, to complete the probe in seven days, and fast-track the trial within 45 days.
The trial court in Delhi handed down its sentence in December, while also forcing Sengar to pay INR 2.5 million ($35,300) to the victim.