Ex-UP Minister Accused Of Gangrape Seeks Interim Bail On Medical Grounds; SC Reserves Order

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it will pass an order on Thursday on the plea of the Uttar Pradesh government against two-month interim bail granted to a former state minister accused of gangrape. The bail was granted to ex-minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati on medical grounds by the Allahabad High Court.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah reserved the verdict in the matter. Additional Solicitor General A.S.V. Raju, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, read out the medical report of Prajapati before the bench.

He said: “This medical certificate is of an earlier date (citing the need for treatment in a super speciality hospital).” Raju submitted that the medical board which was constituted later stated that he can be treated in jail. He urged the top court to look at the serious charges against Prajapati before granting him any relief. Raju added that Prajapati has been in jail for seven months and his condition is stable.

The bench replied, “What happened to his regular bail?” Raju replied it is still pending and no treatment for him requires hospitalisation. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing Prajapati, submitted his client’s regular bail has not been decided for three years and the High Court refrained from taking any decision on it.

The bench noted that the alleged offender seems to have a political background. Dhavan argued that bail and not jail is the rule and threat to a person’s health should be taken into consideration. Dhavan insisted that eight reports show his illness and the overall health aspect has to be considered.

The bench queried, “What are the health issues?” Dhavan replied the man is really sick and he has respiratory problem, kidney issues etc.

Prajapati was a minister in the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government, and along with others, he has been accused of gangraping a woman and attempting to molest her minor daughter.

The bench said it will pronounce its verdict on October 15.

On September 21, the Supreme Court had stayed the Allahabad High Court order granting interim bail for two months.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah had said: “Issue notice. In the meantime, the operation of the impugned order dated September 3, 2020, passed by the High Court shall remain stayed.”

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had granted the interim bail to Prajapati, a minister in the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government, despite this bail, he continued to remain in judicial custody as a fresh case of fraud, forgery and criminal intimidation was also lodged against him.

In the appeal, the state government had contended that the High Court has erroneously granted a short-term bail of two months to the accused in a POCSO case solely on medical grounds. The state government argued that the High Court did not note that he was throughout being treated in premier national medical institutes KGMC/SG-PGI, and the regular hearing of the bail is scheduled for hearing September 28.



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