Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Atul Rai, in jail since 2019, was on Saturday acquitted in a rape and cheating case by a court in Varanasi. He will, however, not be released from prison because of other pending cases against him.
In 2019, a 24-year-old woman from eastern Uttar Pradesh accused Rai of rape in 2018 at his Varanasi residence. She died in a Delhi hospital in August last year, a week after she and her friend set themselves afire outside the Supreme Court. The woman’s friend also died of burn injuries.
After hearing the case, special judge (MP-MLA court) Siyaram Chaurasia acquitted Rai for lack of evidence.
After the verdict, Rai’s lawyer Anuj Yadav said: “Evidence could not be submitted on behalf of the victim, and the incident could not be proved.”
Rai can be released from jail only when he gets bail in another case of alleged criminal conspiracy and abetting the suicide of the woman and her friend, he added.
Rai is a BSP MP from the Ghosi constituency.
On May 1, 2019, the woman accused Rai of raping her in his flat in Varanasi and making objectionable videos. Rai surrendered before the court on June 22, 2019 and has been in Naini Jail since.
On August 16 last year, the woman and her friend committed self-immolation outside the Supreme Court. The two later succumbed to the injuries
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