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After 60 hearings in Patan rape case,public prosecutor yet to get payment

As many as 60 hearings in different courts have been held in the Patan gangrape case and all the witnesses,barring a few from the Crime Branch...

Written by Syed Khalique Ahmed | Ahmedabad |
January 24, 2009 12:27:25 am

As many as 60 hearings in different courts have been held in the Patan gangrape case and all the witnesses,barring a few from the Crime Branch,have been examined in the case that surfaced in February 2008. But Naina Bhatt,appointed as public prosecutor in the case,has so far not received even a single rupee as payment despite the fact that she has submitted all her bills to the Home Department.

Bhatt,who was not even provided with an assistant,has so far spent Rs 80,000 on conveyance for making trips to Patan,Mehsana and other places in connection with the case. The conveyance amount is besides her fees for appearances in the court.

Talking to Newsline,she said that earlier,she was provided taxi by the Home Department. However,in this particular case,she was asked

to hire a vehicle and submit the bills.

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“In future,I don’t intend to take any government assignment because of so much delay in payment,” she said. She has been raising the issue with the authorities in the Home as well as Legal departments almost every fortnight,but she got nothing except assurances.

Additional Secretary (Home) P N Patel admitted that Bhatt’s bills had reached his office. “I will find out the reason for delay in payment,” he said.

The Dalit girl,who was studying in the first year of a two-year course enabling her to become a primary school teacher,was allegedly raped by six of her teachers as many as 14 times over a period of six months in 2007. However,the matter came to light only on February 4,2008,when the girl,other college students as well as their parents organised a protest in the college premises and assaulted the accused teachers.

A total of six teachers were arrested and suspended. All of them are still in judicial custody as their bail plea was turned down by the Sessions Court as also the Gujarat High Court.

The accused were reportedly connected with influential politicians. Surprisingly,barring one woman teacher,all the teachers in the training college exclusively for girls,were male. It was the woman teacher who had blown the whistle first about the sex scam,but it was not taken note of by senior officials of the Education Department till the girls and their parents staged a protest.

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