Rashid Paul

HC recommends action against judicial magistrate for baling out rape accused

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Asks DGP to probe complicity of cops in ‘suppressing facts’

Srinagar, Apr 18: A bench of the J&K High Court today recommended  to the Chief Justice for initiating action against a judicial magistrate for “acting in the most cavalier, casual and perfunctory manner” while granting bail to a woman accomplice in the rape of a minor in the R S Pura area of Jammu.

The bench also directed the Director General of J&K Police to conduct an inquiry against the prosecuting officer and the in-charge Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) at Police Station R S Pura, for having suppressed material facts before the court.

“All the three i.e. the learned Magistrate Ist Class R.S. Pura, the prosecuting officer and the ASI Police Station R. S. Pura, appear to have worked in tandem to deny Justice to a hapless girl victimized and exploited sexually,” Justice M K Hanjura said while dismissing the bail order passed by the magistrate to the woman “collaborator” in the alleged crime.

On September 22, 2017, the 15-year-old female child was returning to Chakrohi, Suchetgarh, when she was bundled by some men into a white vehicle.

She was allegedly drugged, stripped and raped by the beastly men in a jungle on the Punjab border for 22 days and then forced to enter into a marital contract in a court of law, which she resisted before the court.

Paradoxically, the sex fiends were abetted by two women known to the victim.

A missing report was lodged by the father of the girl child and the police also detained the accused.

However, the facts of the matter were twisted in a such a “legal way” that the accused were being gradually admitted to bail.

The High Court after scrutinizing the case found that the officers grossly suppressed the facts.

It observed “the case reflects a sad and a sordid state of affairs.  The fences appear to have swollen the crops. Law has been made lame by the very persons who were supposed to interpret, execute and implement it.  It has been made to limp by those designed and entrusted with the task of protecting the life and limb of the citizens of the state.”

Blaming the magistrate, it said “she appears to have acted in the most cavalier, casual and perfunctory manner in dealing with the application for admitting the accused to bail.”

The prosecuting officer, it said, who has filed the objections and the ASI Police Station R. S. Pura, who has submitted the report in the application for enlarging the accused to bail, have suppressed the material facts, perhaps, deliberately in order to facilitate the exit of the accused from the clutches of the law.

“The learned magistrate appears to have tried to remain oblivious of the facts about the horrific saga of the victim. The forgetfulness of such a dastardly act on part of the officers seems to be selective. They have not cared even a fig to peep deep into the case and to report the actual occurrence before the court,” Justice Hanjura said.

“The learned magistrate has failed to look into the societal concerns. She has forgotten to visualize that the sense of justice of the victim shall be shattered if the accused is released on bail.

“If the demands of the society and the law would have been applied in the proper perspective, a miscarriage of justice which has resulted in passing the order impugned whereby the accused has been admitted to bail would not have occurred,” the court said.

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