August 4, 2019 10:31:52 pm
The Manipur High Court has directed all the special judges in the state of Manipur designated and functioning under the POCSO Act, to dispose of the cases under the Act within a period of one year from the date of taking cognizance of the crime and submit a report regarding the disposal of the cases to the Registrar General of the High Court.
The court issued the directive in response to a petition in a gang-rape case of a minor seeking speedy trial of the case which has been pending in the court of special judge, Imphal West, since 2015. The directive was issued citing an order of the constitution bench of the Supreme Court in the case of Alak Alok Srivastava vs Union of India in 2018.
“The provision of the POCSO Act also clearly states that cases registered under the POCSO Act should be expeditiously disposed of without any delay by the Special Courts constituted under the POCSO Act. But in this case, even after the lapse of several years, why the case is not concluded by the learned Special Judge, Imphal West,” lamented the High Court.
Special judge, Imphal West, was also directed to dispose of the same within a period of three months and also pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victim.
The incident occurred on the night of January 1, 2014, where a minor girl was kidnapped and gang-raped by two persons —Ashang Shimray and Aboy Shimray. Police filed the chargesheet in the case in 2015. According to the petitioner, due to unnecessary delay of the case, the victim suffered mental trauma. Moreover, during the long gap, the main accused Ashang Shimray, despite facing a trial, is now serving as an assistant sub-inspector in Manipur Police department, added the petitioner.
As per the High Court directive, the concerned special judge submitted its report explaining the delay in dealing the case and tendered an apology.
Meanwhile, the High Court also asked DGP Manipur to submit report of pending POCSO cases in the state of Manipur. DGP Manipur submitted that the total number of cases registered under POCSO Act in the state, as on the date of report, is 485, out which 396 cases were chargesheeted and 42 cases were returned as FR, 12 have been transferred and the remaining 35 cases are under investigation and yet to submit chargesheets.
Having examined the reports, the high court also directed registrar general of the court to submit periodical reports of committee’s regulation and monitoring progress of the trail.
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