A seven-year-old girl abducted and raped in 2012 found no mention in the police records after the police failed to record Section 376 (rape) of the IPC in the FIR. A “shocked” Bombay High Court asked the police Thursday to add the charge and asked the government if the victim was eligible for the state-sponsored Manodhairya scheme.
“We are shocked that Section 376 was not added in the FIR,” Justices Ranjit More and Rajesh Ketkar told the state government after noting that the police applied only Section 363 (kidnapping).
The victim’s the parents had abandoned her soon after they learnt that she had been sexually assaulted, leaving her with her grandmother. The victim is now in the custody of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which referred her to an NGO on February 24, 2015.
The case suffered a major setback after the police, which failed to arrest the accused, filed a closure report in a magistrate court saying there was no headway, even as the accused was still at large. The grandmother then decided to approach the High Court. In her petition filed in the HC, she has given a description of the girl’s ordeal as well as her plight as she had to bear expenses incurred on the girl’s treatment without any monetary help from the government.
The girl had gone out with her grandmother to get water from a common tap in the locality when a stranger allegedly kidnapped her. The petition says her injuries were so severe that they resulted in a “third degree perineal tear”. The petition also blames two hospitals for not informing the police about their findings after treating the victim. “Neither the doctors of Sir J J Hospital, nor Nagpada Police Hospital made an attempt to inform the Shivaji Nagar police station about the findings and treatment given to the victim,” says the grandmother.
In fact, on examination of the girl’s injuries and the treatment given to her, a medical expert opined, “The nature of her injuries and condition were critical enough to have caused severe infection and lifelong morbidity and complication.”
Given the severity of the assault, the victim had to undergo two major operations costing the grandmother Rs 3 lakh. This, despite the case being covered under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, and qualifying for the Manodhairya scheme, says the grandmother.
She has now sought the HC’s directions to the police to nab the accused besides to the government to provide her monetary support.
For now, the magistrate court has been directed to not take cognisance of the police’s closure report until the next hearing when the state will also have to inform if any relief could be given.