Providing relief to victims of the Jat quota agitation, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Thursday ordered that those who suffered sexual harassment, loss of property or failed in getting insurance compensation can approach their respective Chief Judicial Magistrates for help. The court also ordered setting up of a help desk in every District Legal Services Authority.
On reports of alleged rape of nearly 10 women passengers in Murthal, the court asked Haryana’s Home Secretary and Director General of Police to submit separate detailed reports within three days.
The division bench of Justices S K Mittal and H S Sidhu said it had considered the news reports “with regard to sexual assault alleged to have been made by the arsonists/protesters during the recent agitation in the State of Haryana. It has been reported that their complaints have also not been taken care of by the police authorities”.
After Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan, advocate Suman Jain and Utsav Bains expressed apprehension about victims being afraid of approaching police, the court said: “It would be open for them (victims) to submit a complaint in a sealed envelope to the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority of the concerned District either in person or through some relative or even by post or e-mail.”
The court further ordered, “The Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority will then immediately forward the application to the concerned police authorities for investigation and thereafter, pursue the matter with the authorities to ensure justice to victims.”
In its second directive, the court said: “Where the victims have suffered damage to their properties which may be shops, showrooms, vehicles, schools, factories or other movable or immovable properties, they would be at liberty to approach the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority of the concerned District for redressal of their grievances.”