Ranchi, Sept. 13: Jharkhand High Court today came down heavily on the state government for slack action on rape cases pending in lower courts in the wake of the landmark — and eagerly awaited — verdict by a Delhi fast-track court that sentenced four convicts of the December 16 gang rape to death row.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice S. Chandrashekhar, while hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) initiated suo motu on rapes in Jharkhand, ordered the government counsel to specify the number of cases pending and their status.
Advocate Rajeev Kumar, the amicus curiae in the case, told the court that as many as 799 cases of rape were reported in Jharkhand since December 2012.
The court ordered government counsel Rangan Mukhopadhyay to verify the figure put forth by Kumar.
The bench also demanded to know the number of rape cases across the state in which police have submitted chargesheets.
A petition, filed today by social organisation Citizens’ Cause, requesting the high court to transfer rape cases to fast-track courts for speedy disposal, was however dismissed by the court.
Explaining the logic, the bench observed that cases could only be transferred to fast-track courts after their priority was ascertained based on details furnished by the government.
The case will again be heard on September 19.
The high court had initiated the PIL on April 26 when newspapers reported two cases of sexual abuse of minor girls in the capital. On April 25, a six-year-old girl was raped, tortured and killed in Doranda, while a three-year-old was molested in Burdwan Compound.
Then, the court had observed that the gruesome Delhi gang rape case and subsequent death of the victim exposed the insecurity of women in society.
Pointing out that police and administration have failed to curb heinous offences against women, the bench had also said that punishment might be a way to make other persons aware of the consequence of such crimes.
NO END TO ASSAULT nightmare
Doranda police on Friday evening arrested a rickshaw-puller for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl in Ranchi.
Devi Machuwa (22), from Bundu, allegedly raped the minor at Gaurishankar Nagar area under Doranda police station in the afternoon of Wednesday.
The slum-dweller parents took the “blood-soaked girl” to RIMS for treatment.
After her release on Friday, the parents reported the matter to Doranda police station.
On April 25, a six-year-old girl was raped, tortured and killed in the same area