HC takes suo-moto cognisance of rape, abandonment of mentally-challenged woman

HC takes suo-moto cognisance of rape, abandonment of mentally-challenged woman
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Seeks reports from Police, LD Hospital

SRINAGAR: The J&K High court on Tuesday took suo motu cognisance of the alleged rape and abandonment of a mentally challenged women and directed the Registry to register the writ petition as a Public Interest Litigation over the issue involving women in distress.
The court observed that there is an urgent need of shelter homes for women in distress and issued notice to Secretary Social Welfare Department to look into this matter.
The court also called for response within two days from SSP Srinagar, SSP Ganderbal, SHO Nowhatta, SHO Budgam, SHO Kulan Ganderbal and Medical Superintendent of Lal Ded Hospital.
It was also directed to SHO Budgam to disclose the particulars of the parents of the victim.
The court passed the order in view of media reports claiming that a mentally challenged women hailing from Budgam was raped some nine months ago by some local youth at Malkha area, which is in the vicinity of Makhdoom Sahab shrine.
The report states that on 20 November, the mentally unsound women gave birth to a child in an open area in Kullen Ganderbal. The baby didn’t survive, and the woman was later on rushed, with the help of some locals, to Lal Ded Hospital, where she is being treated.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar pressed that state authorities urgently address the issues regarding women who are victims of sexual offence.
The court said that if the victim is mentally challenged, the authorities are answerable to the laws provided on the ground, which are meant to be implemented.
The court recorded that the incident took place around Nowhatta area and yet the victim has not been examined or treated.
“The victim has given birth to a child in Ganderbal District, and we want to know why she was not provided any medical treatment there,” the court said.
The court further said there was a “dire need of shelter homes for abandoned and victims of abuse. The respondents shall address these issues forthwith and place their reports with respect to it.”