Taking a tough stand on the burning issue of crime against women and children, the Bombay High Court, on Wednesday, called for drastic measures to deal with rape cases and other such crimes matter effectively and efficiently. The court gave strict directions to the police to act with utmost seriousness in handling such cases and at the same time ensure the safety of the victim. The accused should also be punished irrespective of political connections or any such influence, the court has held.
The HC’s order surfaced in the wake of a petition from a father of a 15 year old, who was allegedly raped for over a year and then forced to marry the rapist. The whole issue occurred under the watchful eyes of both the police and a municipal cooperator. The accused was then reported to flee to Saudi Arabia. As per the petition, the girl’s father approached the police to lodge a complaint on February 2, 2013. But, a day later, she was allegedly married off to the 34 year old accused and subsequently gave birth to a child on March 21, 2013.
Advocate Wesley Menzes, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, raised questions on the efficiency of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the matter. According to the advocate, the SIT was not complying with the orders of the court. The prosecution informed the court that the director general of police had formed a SIT, supervised by an additional commissioner of police. The team had already recorded the victim’s statement and further investigations were on.
Advocate Menzes also submitted a non cognizable offence complaint accusing a friend of the rapist who called the victim’s sister and tried to intimidate her. Following his request to transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the court directed the deputy commissioner of police to provide 24 hours protection to the victim’s family.
Asserting the seriousness of the crime and its national ramifications, the bench hearing the case observed “The police has to create confidence in the victim and not scare her and work to ensure that the accused, no matter how politically connected, don’t get away after committing a crime”.