Taking a tough stand on the 2014 Bhagana village case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday asked the Haryana government to depute a senior and responsible officer not below the rank of the joint secretary to explain what the state government had done to rehabilitate the rape victims and Dalit families of the village in Hisar district.
Appearing on behalf of the Ambedkar Welfare Samiti, advocate RS Bains said the whole case showed a blatant violation of the Article 21 of the Constitution as many families of the community had shifted from the village due to fear of the dominant caste. “It is obligatory on the part of State of Haryana to formulate a scheme for rehabilitation of the rape victims and also the families residing in the village,” Bains said before the single bench of Justice Rajan Gupta.
The fresh HC direction has lent a new lease of life to the case pending for the past three years. The case, which pertains to the alleged gangrape of four minor girls on March 23, 2014, and the subsequent migration of 90 families from the village due to the lack of security, had gone unheard because of repeated adjournments.
The counsels for Haryana government on Tuesday sought time to seek instructions from the government on the issue and the case was adjourned for August 22.
Last year, the Haryana government had told the High Court that no “cause of action” survived in the case, while denying that the families had left the village or there was any social boycott against the Dalits by the dominant community.