A Bahujan Samaj Party leader, who is accused of raping a college student, has been granted two-day parole to take oath as MP, eight months after he won from Ghosi parliamentary seat.
On Thursday, Atul Rai was granted parole by Allahabad High Court.
Justice Ramesh Sinha said Rai should be taken to Delhi on January 29 and brought back to jail, two days later.
College student accused Rai of raping her in his flat
A college student accused Rai of raping her in March 2018. According to the complaint filed in May 2019, the survivor said he called her to his flat at Chitaipuri, Varanasi, under the pretext of meeting his wife.
There, he raped her and recorded the heinous act. Rai allegedly raped her several times after that.
He was booked under IPC Sections 376, 504, 506 and 420.
After absconding for weeks, Rai surrendered before court
By the time Rai was booked he had filed his nomination from Ghosi, but later went absconding.
In his absence, Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party's Mayawati campaigned for him. BSP and SP had stitched an unlikely alliance before polls.
In June 2019, Rai surrendered, was sent to judicial remand for 14 days, and subsequently, his bail pleas were rejected.
After taking oath, Rai will return to jail
Now, making a case for him, Rai's counsel appealed that he be granted relief for taking the oath and Justice Sinha approved it.
To recall, when Rai was elected, he released a message for his "supporters" claiming he was targeted in a "fake case". "The public's court is above any other court and the public's court has proved me innocent," he said.
Rai's actions invited criticism for BSP
Naturally, BJP targeted BSP, saying it's a shame an elected parliamentarian has no regard for the judiciary.
"His continued disregard of the law is reflecting poorly on Mayawati as well as the MP. Police has even begun proceedings of attaching his property," UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi had said when Rai was at large.