Former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati paid a bribe of Rs10 crore to ensure bail for himself in a rape case, a high level probe initiated by the Allahabad High Court has revealed.
The probe revealed massive corruption involving the posting of a judge, O P Mishra, to specifically handle the rape case involving Prajapati, according to reports.
Reports quoting Allahabad High Court chief justice Dilip B Bhosale, who instituted the probe, said additional district and sessions judge O P Mishra, who granted bail to Prajapati on 25 April, was posted as POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) judge on 7 April when he had just three weeks left for retirement.
The investigation came up with details of how three advocates who were office bearers of the bar association struck a deal with the district judge to post Mishra to the POCSO court despite the latter having very little time left before retirement.
A series of meetings were held between the three lawyers and the district judge in the latter's chamber three - four weeks prior to the bail, the probe revealed.
According to a Times of India report, Prajapati's bail was part of a deep-rooted conspiracy involving some senior judges.
Prajapati, who was a minister in Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh, was accused of raping a woman.
An FIR was registered against 49-year-old Prajapati and six others on 17 February on a Supreme Court directive, following allegations that he raped a woman and attempted to rape her minor daughter in 2014.
Prajapati, who was on the run for nearly a month, was arrested from the Aashiyana area in Lucknow on 15 March and was sent to jail.
Prajapati had approached the Supreme Court to get a stay on his arrest. However, the apex court asked him to approach the court concerned.
At the time of his arrest, Prajapati had claimed that he was innocent and the charges were a conspiracy to malign him.
Prajapati's bail had raised quite a few eyebrows following which Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale sought an inquiry into the matter.
The probe revealed massive corruption in posting of judges in courts handling sensitive crime and rape cases.
Bhosale said additional district and sessions judge O P Mishra, who granted bail to Prajapati on 25 April, was posted as POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) judge on April 7 when he had just three weeks left for retirement, the report said.
He was appointed bypassing norms and by removing a judge who was "handling the assignment efficiently" for a year, the probe report further added.