The Bombay High Court said it was “shocked and alarmed” by the details in the complaint of a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly raped over a period of one year and forced to marry her rapist, who later fled to Saudi Arabia.
In an order passed on Wednesday, the court expressed displeasure over the allegations that the minor was forced to marry the alleged rapist at the insistence of local police and a corporator, and also has a child.
According to the petition, the girl’s father had first approached the police to file a complaint on February 2, 2013. However, a day later, the girl was allegedly forcibly married to the 34-year-old man who allegedly raped her. On March 21, 2013, she gave birth to a child.
“We are shocked and alarmed by the facts which are disclosed in the petition. The girl was raped almost for a period of one year from July 2012 to January, 2013 and, at the relevant time, her age was around 13 years and, thereafter, instead of taking action against the accused who were available in Mumbai, the girl was forced to marry the accused who has now left India and is in Saudi Arabia,” said Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode.
The court directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police to provide round-the-clock protection to the family of the victim, observing that they had received threats to withdraw the complaint.
The judges observed that despite the Child Welfare Committee’s (CWC) directions to the investigating officer to report about progress of the case, no steps were taken, by the police station. “Taking into consideration these facts, we are of the view that investigation will have to be transferred,” said the court.
The court, while directing the Director General of Police to form a “Special Investigation Team”, also directed that all facts of the case must be brought to the notice of state Home Minister R R Patil as there are allegations made against a corporator.
According to the court, the SIT should comprise officers of the rank of assistant commissioner of police and preferably two of them should be women. These officers, the court said, “shall forthwith record the statement of the victim and and also all other witnesses who had witnessed the said incident and take steps immediately in accordance with law.”
“If the DGP finds there is truth in the allegations made, prompt action be taken against the erring police officers,” the court ordered.
The victim and her child are under the care of the CWC. According to the victim’s father, the minor girl was raped by two men — aged 34 and 26 — repeatedly in their shop in Jogeshwari. The girl became pregnant and when her mother learned of this, she filed a police complaint, he said in a petition.
However, according to the girl’s father, no action was taken by the police. On the contrary, they forced the teenager to marry one of the accused. He alleged that the act was abetted by some cops and local politicians.
Adjourning the case till July 27, the judges said, “The SIT should submit a report after two weeks.”
HC confirms death sentence of man who raped, killed minor
The Bombay High Court Thursday confirmed the death penalty awarded to a 53-year-old man for raping and killing a seven-year-old girl
Considering the “brutality and gruesomeness” of the act, the court said the case qualified as “rarest of rare.”
Justices V K Tahilramani and A S Gadkari also observed that the previous criminal record of Baba Saheb Maruti Kamble and said there was no scope of reformation. The incident dates back to October 28, 2011, when Kamble, an autorickshaw driver, took the girl, his immediate neighbour, out on the pretext of buying vegetables. The convict took the minor girl to his house and committed the crime.
According to the prosecution, the mother had found the minor’s body underneath the bed in the house of Kamble, who raped and then strangulated the minor. He was arrested by Goregaon police the same day. (ENS)