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SC seeks report on cop action in rape case

New Delhi, Jan. 31: The Supreme Court today directed the Bengal government to file a detailed report within two weeks on the action taken by police against the accused in the Birbhum gang-rape case.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and M.Y. Eqbal passed the order after finding that the report submitted by the Birbhum district and sessions judge on the alleged gang rape did not have any mention of the action taken by the police.

The Birbhum police had been criticised for not seeking custody of the 13 arrested accused and the district police chief was removed apparently for failing to monitor the case properly.

The Supreme Court, which had on January 24 taken suo motu cognisance of the alleged gang rape, today appointed additional solicitor-general Siddharth Luthra as amicus curaie to assist it in the case.

On January 24, the apex court had directed the Birbhum district and sessions judge to visit Subalpur, where the alleged gang rape had taken place on the orders of a kangaroo court, and submit a report within a week.

Chief Justice Sathasivam said in a written order today: “Pursuant to our direction dated 24th January, 2014, the district judge, Birbhum district, West Bengal, along with the chief judicial magistrate and a team of persons inspected the place in question and submitted a report to this court. In the report, we do not find any information about the steps taken by the police against the persons concerned.”

The order says copies of the report will be forwarded to the Birbhum district judge and the chief secretary. The chief secretary will have to file a “detailed report and the follow-up action by the police concerned” within two weeks.

The case will be heard again on February 14.

During the previous hearing, Chief Justice Sathasivam had said: “We are deeply disturbed by the incident reported in newspapers in (the) West Bengal district.”