The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Haryana government to apprise it of the investigation conducted into a complaint by a student of the Hisar-based Jindal Global University, who had alleged that she was raped by her seniors but police were trying to protect the accused at the behest of a Haryana MP.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Uday U Lalit also sought a response from the CBI on a plea by the 21-year-old to transfer the matter to the premier investigating agency for a free and fair probe.
The court ordered the state government to adduce a status report of the investigation on Wednesday.
The bench said it may not be required at this stage to issue a notice to the university since the main prayer in the petition was to transfer the probe to the CBI.
Arguing for the student, senior lawyer Indira Jaising and advocate Devdutt Kamath contended that the local police appeared completely unaware of cyber laws.
“Mobile phones and other devices used in sharing the girl’s nude photographs were not even seized,” they said. The lawyers requested the bench to also make the Union government a party in their petition since the officers who could certify the electronic records under the cyber laws were not appointed. The apex court accepted this request and allowed requisite amendment in the petition.
The student has alleged that her seniors took her nude photographs and forced her to have physical relationships with many of them. As per the petition, she was repeatedly raped on the campus and outside by three seniors, who had threatened to circulate the pictures.
The petition claimed that the police were in fact destroying electronic evidences like laptops and mobile phones through which photographs were shared by the accused with other students through WhatsApp.
The Station House Officer, who had registered the FIR, was transferred under political pressure the very next day, the student’s petition said.
“The state authorities have behaved in an extremely casual, lackadaisical, unprofessional and biased manner leading to valuable evidence being possibly destroyed by the accused due to the inability of the prosecution to properly protect and preserve the incriminating evidence,” stated the petition.
Maintaining that her fundamental right to live with human dignity was being violated, the petition says that a CBI inquiry was inevitable because of the “shoddy, reckless, biased and malafide investigation conducted by police”.