A Varanasi court on Saturday, 6 August, acquitted Bahujan Samaj Party MP Atul Rai in the case of alleged rape of a 24-year-old woman, who, along with her friend, had self-immolated in front of the Supreme Court last year alleging delay in justice.
Anuj Yadav, Rai's lawyer, told reporters that the special judge of the MP-MLA court, Siyaram Chaurasia, had pronounced his verdict in the favour of the BSP leader.
"We fought the case for three years and attained victory in the end. There is a proverb – 'Truth can be harassed but not defeated' – it has been proven true today. We had produced a witness during the prosecution. The officials had corroborated that the witness is correct. However, due to some reasons the case didn't go for reinvestigation."Anuj Yadav, BSP MP Atul Rai's lawyer
"We tried to complete the hearing, and now we have gotten the judgment in which the accused MP has been declared innocent," he added.
Rai, who represents the Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency from Uttar Pradesh, has been in jail since June 2019 in the case.
The complainant in the case had broadcast the self-immolation in a Facebook live video in August 2021. She had introduced herself as a “rape victim” and had alleged that the UP Police tried to prove she was “characterless” in various ways to save Rai.
“We won’t tell you the location but we have come here to fulfil what all of them have been trying to do for the last one and a half years,” the woman was heard saying in the video.
The woman also alleged that a number of police officers were trying to protect Rai.
In March, the complainant had filed a plea in the apex court, seeking transfer of the rape case from Allahabad to Delhi in order to secure a fair trial. She had also claimed that she faced a "threat to her life."