Girl in lockup: SC terms it shocking

A bench led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir sought an explanation from the Uttar Pradesh government over the incident by Monday.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: April 11, 2013 12:44 am

Terming it as “very serious” and “shocking,” the Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the “unfortunate” incident wherein a 10-year-old girl was put in a lockup for several hours when she went to a women’s police station in Bulandshahr,Uttar Pradesh,to file a rape complaint.

A bench led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir sought an explanation from the Uttar Pradesh government over the incident by Monday. “What is this? A minor rape victim in lockup? This is much much serious. It is shocking,” remarked Justice Kabir after he noticed a report in The Indian Express newspaper.

Copies of the newspaper had been forwarded to the Bench while it heard a petition challenging the result of Advocate-On-Record (AOR) examination. The Indian Express had carried a story on the petition that claimed around 93 per cent of lawyers,who appeared for the AOR exam,flunked in the paper “Professional Ethics and Advocacy”.

Lamenting the situation,the Bench then summoned UP counsel and asked him to furnish explanation over the Bulandshahr incident. “How can a juvenile be ever put in a police lockup? How can the police detain a 10-year-old girl? It is not at all permissible under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. Let the state government respond to the newspaper report by Monday and explain the circumstances,” said the Bench.

It took strong exception also to the fact that the minor had reportedly gone to the police station to lodge a rape complaint. In Bulandshahr,the victim’s mother expressed the gratitude to the Supreme Court for its concern. “We are very happy that the Supreme Court has taken a strong view of this case. It has lifted our spirits to fight for justice till the end. We now know that law of the land will prevail,” she told The Indian Express .

The incident had taken place two days ago when the girl’s mother took her to the police station. The mother complained to the police that one Harinder (35),a father of three,had raped her daughter and dumped her in an unconscious state in a field Sunday night.

But instead of filing a complaint against the accused,the two women constables put the victim behind bars. Her mother,who tried to explain the incident to the officials,was asked her to leave the police station.

The police officials kept the girl in the lockup for several hours and freed her only after locals of the area protested. On Tuesday,Harinder was arrested from Bulandshahr depot when he was trying to flee the city.

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