Cuttack, Feb. 4: Orissa High Court today sought clarification from the state government on non-completion of trial in the alleged gang rape of a student at Khurda more than 16 years ago.
The issue of non-completion of the trial was brought to light with the filing of a public interest litigation (PIL) by human rights activist and advocate Prabir Kumar Das.
Das said: “The inordinate delay in trial has not only resulted in the denial of justice to the victim, but also denied the right to speedy trial to the accused persons.”
Taking note of it, the division bench of acting Chief Justice P.K. Mohanty and Justice Raghuvir Dash today has directed the state counsel to obtain instructions from the state government on the matter and file an affidavit within a week, the advocate-petitioner said.
The alleged gang-rape incident dates back to July 2, 1996.
The victim was then a Plus Three arts student of Kanas College. Local police had registered a case against four persons. While two of the accused were arrested, the other two surrendered before the police.
A chargesheet had then been filed, but the case is still pending in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Khurda.
The PIL assumes significance in view of large number of rape cases that are under investigation and pending completion of trial in the state.
Of the 3,679 registered rape cases, 2,113 are under trial, while the remaining 1,566 cases are under investigation. The highest number of 191 cases is under trial in Ganjam district followed by Balasore and Cuttack with 151 and 141 cases, respectively.
Official figures indicate that 190, 91 and 205 cases are under investigation in Ganjam, Balasore and Cuttack districts, respectively.