Patna’s special court has convicted former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA from Nawada Raj Ballabh Yadav and five other perpetrators for raping a 15-year old minor girl in 2016. Yadav has been convicted under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences(POCSO) Act. The quantum of sentence will be decided on 21 December.
The MLA was suspended from RJD, post-allegations and was lodged in jail for past two years.
The case dates back to February of 2016. A 15-year old girl, a resident of Bihar Sharif was reportedly abducted by her a woman, Sulekha Devi to a location 15 KM from district headquarters. According to reports, the woman and Yadav consumed alcohol and forced the minor girl to watch pornographic videos. Yadav then allegedly directed the girl to imitate the lewd acts. When the girl resisted, she was raped and confined the entire night.
After the ordeal, the girl reached and registered a complaint at Nalanda district police station. As the case was against an MLA of incumbent RJD-JDU government, the victim appeared before a magistrate and narrated the incident. She identified MLA from photos shown to her.
The five others convicted also include Sulekha Devi and bodyguards who are charged under Immoral Traffic (Prevention Act), in addition to IPC and POCSO. There were 22 witnesses from the prosecution or victim’s side and 15 from MLA or defenders side.
After the case gained momentum and MLA was lodged in jail, RJD expelled the legislator to save it from embarrassment. In October, RJD’s leader of opposition Tejashwi Yadav was caught in a controversy after he was featured with Raj Ballabh Yadav in posters during his Samvidhan Bachao Yatra. Tejashwi had said that he was not aware of the posters and the allegations on MLA were not proven.