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Posted at: May 16, 2019, 6:36 AM; last updated: May 16, 2019, 7:03 AM (IST)

HC takes suo motu notice of rape case, seeks police report

Demands details of treatment, counselling being given to victim
HC takes suo motu notice of  rape case, seeks police report
College students protest in Srinagar on Wednesday. PTI

Ishfaq Tantry

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 15

Taking suo motu cognisance of the alleged rape of a three-year-old girl in the Sumbal area of Bandipora district, the J&K High Court has sought a report from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) regarding the steps taken for effective investigation into the matter as well as protection given to the victim and her family.

The court has also sought a report from the Secretary, health and medical education department, with regard to the medical examination, medical treatment and counselling being administered to the victim. The directions were issued on Wednesday by a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan which also took serious note of the reports appearing in a section of media disclosing the identity of the minor victim.

The rape incident has led to widespread anger across the Valley, with north Kashmir witnessing violent protests since it came to light on May 8. The J&K Police have already formed an SIT and arrested the accused.

While issuing a notice to the IGP, the court directed him to file a report by or before May 17 indicating the “steps taken for effective investigation into the matter as well as protection given to the victim and her family”.

The court has also sought a status report from the Member Secretary, State Legal Services Authority, with regard to the effective legal aid guaranteed to the victim as well as the status of release of compensation admissible to her. The matter is listed again for May 17.

The court also took note of media reports disclosing the victim’s identity. “Our attention has been drawn to the extensive reporting in the media regarding the incident in question and disclosure of the identity of the minor. Such reporting has done grave injustice to the privacy and dignity of the child victim,” the bench observed.

“We are of the view that immediate action is required to be taken to identify the reports in print and electronic media wherein the provisions of Section 23 of the J&K Protection of Child from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018, have been violated and action taken against the persons responsible for the same,” the court said while asking Farah Bashir, Amicus Curiae, to give details of such reports having violated the law.

‘Disclosing minor’s identity injustice’

The High Court has taken note of media reports disclosing the victim's identity. “Our attention has been drawn to the extensive reporting in the media regarding the incident in question and disclosure of the identity of the minor. Such reporting has done grave injustice to the privacy and dignity of the child victim,” the bench observed

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