Former UP minister Gayatri Prajapati, jailed as an accused in a rape case, may have secured bail for Rs 10 crore, a Allahabad high court probe has revealed. The probe says some senior judges were involved in the conspiracy too.
Gayatri Prajapathi, a minister in the SP government, was close to both Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav. Last February, a woman had accused Prajapathi of raping her when she met him three years ago. She had alleged that she was raped when she fell unconscious after taking tea laced with a sedative. Prajapati took some photos of the victim, threatened to make them public and continued to rape her for two years.
During the elections which he contested and lost, he was on the run but was caught soon after the change of government in March. On April 25, he managed to get bail. But the manner in which he secured jail raised the eyebrows of the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Dilip Bhosale who sought an inquiry into it. The probe revealed a web of corruption in the posting of courts to sensitive courts which handle cases of heinous crimes such as rape and murder. He was appointed bypassing norms and by removing a judge who was "handling the assignment efficiently" for a year. The IB probe establishes graft in the judge's POCSO posting.
The report said an agreement of Rs 10 crore was worked out for grant of bail to Prajapati, of which Rs 5 crore was given to three lawyers who acted as middlemen and the rest to Judge O P Mishra and the district judge who posted Mishra to the POSCO court.
"Laxmi Kant Rathaur, who was assigned POCSO jurisdiction on July 18, 2016, was doing very well. There was absolutely no justification or reason to change him suddenly and appoint O P Mishra as POCSO judge on April 7, 2017, more so when he was about to retire within three weeks," Justice Bhosale is believed to have observed in his confidential report.