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Effective steps sought by SC

New Delhi, Feb. 14: The Supreme Court today directed the Bengal government to take “effective steps” against the accused in the alleged gang rape of a tribal girl in Birbhum last month.

A bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the Mamata Banerjee government to submit forensic reports, copies of the FIR and the recorded statements of the 13 arrested.

“Unfortunately, though we had earlier asked the district judge to submit a report, we did not get the necessary information. We then had asked the chief secretary to submit a report,” the bench said.

“The governmentů they have taken some effective steps but we want more,” Justice Sathasivam initially said. Later, he clarified: “They have taken some steps, but we want some effective steps.”

The Supreme Court had on January 31 ordered the Bengal government to file a detailed report on the action taken by the police in the case. It had passed the directive after finding that an earlier report by the Birbhum district and sessions judge had no mention of the action taken by the police.

Today, a detailed report by the chief secretary was submitted in the apex court in a sealed cover. The court handed over the report to additional solicitor-general Sidharth Luthra, who is assisting it as an amicus curie, to go through the contents.

After reading the report, Luthra told the court that though the chief secretary had said 13 persons were arrested, he made no mention of action taken against a villager called Santhan.

Quoting some other reports, Luthra told the court that Santhan had bolted the door of a room from outside while the girl was being gang-raped, and stood guard.

The court granted state counsel Anip Sachtey’s plea for a copy of the chief secretary’s report and asked the government to place before it “the FIR, result of the investigation and statements of the accused recorded under Section 161 CrPC”.

It fixed the next date of hearing for March 4.