Friday, 21 December 2012

Justice for Gang Rape Victim and Safer City for Women

W.P.(C) No.7927/2012

1. This Court on its own motion has taken up this matter concerning with the occurrence dated 16.12.2012 wherein a 23 year old girl became the victim of gang-rape in a moving bus in the city of Delhi. Having regard to the serious concern expressed by a large number of women lawyers on 18.12.2012, a Division Bench of this Court consisting of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Vipin Sanghi directed the matter be listed as Public Interest Litigation and placed before this Bench.

2. There is no doubt that the incident dated 16.12.2012 is of a great concern to all law abiding citizens of this city and it is the right time that the citizens of this capital city must be ensured safety, particularly, the women and girl children going to schools, colleges, work-places, etc.

3. We have heard Mr. Pawan Sharma, learned Standing Counsel (Crl.) for the Govt. of NCT of Delhi. Having expressed a great concern, the learned Standing Counsel has submitted that immediately after the occurrence, the police have started investigation into the matter and one person has been arrested and remanded apart from three other persons were also arrested and they are produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate today. He further stated that the investigation would be completed in a period of one month and by that time the charge-sheet will be filed.

4. Mr. N. Waziri, learned Standing Counsel for the Govt. of NCT of Delhi has submitted that Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to investigate the case which is headed by Ms. Chhaya Sharma, DCP and the investigation has been carried on with utmost sincerity so that the culprit will be brought to book without any delay.

5. We have considered the above submissions. The issue concerns with two basic but important questions, viz. (i) the investigation and (ii) preventive measures taken by the police to curb such occurrence. As far as investigation is concerned, we direct the following:

The investigation by the SIT shall continue and the status report on the same so far made shall be filed before this Court on 21.12.2012. The investigation must be of high standard and there shall not be any lacuna.

6. As far as preventive measures are concerned, after hearing all concerned, this Court would be giving suitable guidelines for the same. However, as we are informed, the bus in which the girl was gangraped had travelled on Delhi Road at least for 40 minutes and there were at least three PCRs and there was police surveillance also. We are lost to understand as to how the bus escaped from the surveillance of the police in spite of three PCRs on the route where the bus had travelled when the police were supposed to have a regular patrolling as well as to check the vehicles.

7. Hence, the Commissioner of Police is directed to file a report on the above giving the details of the police officials who were posted at the relevant point of time including the police officials who were patrolling the duty during the relevant period and the actions, if any taken, against the erring officials. The Commissioner of Police shall also file a report on the steps being taken to prevent such occurrence in future. The Commissioner of Police shall also ensure that the directions of the Supreme Court to remove the sun-control films and tinted glasses from all the vehicles including the public transports as well. Commissioner of Police shall report as to the steps taken to implement the directions of the Supreme Court for removal of sun-control films or the tinted glasses beyond the permissible limit. We also direct the Commissioner of Police to ensure that no vehicle is plied within the territory of Govt. of NCT of Delhi in contravention of the directions of the Supreme Court. A report on the same shall be filed on the next adjourned date.

8. Mr. Waziri stated that the officials are facing difficulty in implementing the Supreme Court s direction, particularly, in respect of vehicles coming from other States. It is not as if the police machinery could not check those vehicles and ensure that sun control films or tinted glasses vehicles are removed as and when they enter the territory of Delhi, particularly, at the toll-gates and check posts where sufficient numbers of police can be deployed. This exercise shall also include to see that no vehicle runs with screens put up in windows.

9. We hope that the order of the Supreme Court as well as the above directions will strictly be complied with by the police thereby no vehicle with sun-control films or tinted glasses runs in the territory of Delhi.

10. As far as medical care to be given to both the victim girl and her male friend is concerned, Mr. Waziri states at the bar that if possible both of them will be shifted to the speciality hospital to offer the best possible medical treatment. If it is not possible to shift the victims, the required expert in the field will be called to the hospital where the victims are admitted so that they may be given the best possible medical treatment. The said statement is recorded and we hope it will be strictly followed.

11. We also direct that the Director of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory shall ensure that as and when the police approach him for the forensic report, such a report shall be furnished without any delay for whatever reason.

12. Call this matter on 21st December, 2012 at 3.30 p.m. Copy of order be given dasti under the signature of the Court Master.

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