The Delhi High Court Friday reduced the period of interim bail for former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kuldeep Singh Sengar, convicted of rape, in light of the safety concerns raised by the victim. A division bench of the Delhi High Court led by Justice Mukta Gupta modified an earlier order dated January 16 by which the court had granted Sengar interim bail for a period of 15 days–from January 27 to February 10–to allow him to attend his daughter’s wedding.The court heard a plea moved by the victim where she challenged the 15-day interim bail granted to Sengar. The bail matter pertains to Sengar’s conviction and life sentence in 2019 for the rape of a woman in Unnao district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, who was a minor at the time of the assault in 2017. Sengar was also convicted for the murder of the victim’s father. Sengar’s appeal against the conviction and sentence is pending before the high court. The amended order now requires Sengar to surrender to custody before jail authorities on February 1. He is to be released back on the morning of February 6, and will finally have to surrender again on February 10. The court stipulated that all the other conditions noted in the January 16 order were to remain the same.The counsel for the victim relied on an affidavit filed by the Home Department of the Uttar Pradesh government with the Supreme Court in November last year which noted that there was a threat to lives of the victim and her immediate family members from Sengar even during his time in jail. The counsel for Sengar counter-argued stating that there was no cogent cause for modification of the order and since the trial was complete, there was no threat to the witnesses.Finding merit in the applicant’s arguments, the court also voiced reservations regarding the length of the parole along with the infeasibility of employing sufficient police personnel.
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