Saturday, August 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Rights panel seeks report on sale of girls
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 8
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has taken suo motu notice of media reports of the sale of young girls and women in Ferozepore district of Punjab and asked the district authorities to immediately submit a report on the phenomenon.

“Human soul brings human life,” observed Justice R.L. Anand, a member of the PSHRC, in his order. “It is not a chattel or goods. It is not a saleable commodity. It is a gift of the Almighty to this universe”.

Justice Anand said he was shocked to learn through the media that young girls and women were brought into Ferozepore district by unscrupulous persons and they were sold like a saleable commodity for a paltry sum ranging from Rs 2,000 onwards depending upon the age of the girl or woman.

“Slavery has already been abolished in this country, rather it has been declared unconstitutional being a slur to society”, Justice Anand pointed out. "Similarly, promoting and practicing unlawful trade in sale and purchase of the girls or women cannot be endorsed or encouraged or protected from any canons of law or natural justice.

“If such illegal trade is going under the nose of the local administration of Ferozepore, who is at fault: either the Deputy Commissioner or the Senior Superintendent of Police or the Station House Officer concerned.

“The commission takes cognizance of that news item and calls for the report of the DC, SSP and SHO concerned of Ferozepore district. These authorities are directed to submit their report into the matter through Principal Secretary, Home and IGP, Litigation, Punjab”.

A copy of the order was sent to the TV channel which telecast the news report with the request that the video clip and report of the correspondent be sent to the commission.

The case will now come up for hearing on September 3.

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