Lucknow, November 12 (PTI): Former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati and two others were awarded life imprisonment for raping a woman by a special court here on Friday.
The court that hears cases against lawmakers also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on each convict.
Prajapati and two other convicts Ashok Tiwari and Ashish Shukla were present in the court when it pronounced the judgment.
Judge P K Rai had on Wednesday held Prajapati, a key figure in the previous Akhilesh Yadav government, and his accomplices guilty of raping the woman and also trying to rape her minor daughter.
It said the prosecution has been able to prove charges against them beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, the court acquitted four others–Vikas Verma, Roopeshwar, Amrendra Singh, alias Pintu, and Chandrapal–due to lack of evidence.
The prosecution had produced 17 witnesses in the case.
While holding the three guilty, the court also directed the Lucknow police commissioner to ascertain the circumstances in which the rape victim and two other witnesses had changed their statements time and again during the trial.
Prajapati held transport and mining portfolios in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet and was arrested in March 2017.
The FIR against the minister was registered at the Gautampalli police station here on the directions of the Supreme Court, which gave its order on the woman’s plea against the police inaction over her complaint.
The former minister has been in jail since the registration of the FIR.
The woman had claimed that the minister and his accomplices have been raping her since October 2014 and she decided to complain against them after they tried to molest and rape her minor daughter in July 2016.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by The Sen Times staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds.