HC orders expeditious trial of Sumbal child rape case

HC orders expeditious trial of Sumbal child rape case

Srinagar: The J&K High court on Wednesday directed the Sessions Court Bandipora to expeditiously proceed with the trial of Sumbal-Bandipora child rape case, which sparked violent protests across Kashmir last month.
The court passed the direction after a status report was filed by Inspector General of Police Kashmir as well as by Medical Superintendent SKIMS Bemina, whereby they informed that charge sheet in the case arising out of FIR No. 81/2019 stands filed in the court of Sessions Judge Bandipora on 25 May 2019.
“Needless to say that the case shall be proceeded expeditiously by the court concerned,” the High Court recorded in its order.
Advocate Shafkat Nazir representing the petitioner made a submission that the State Government has terminated the services of all Public Prosecutors and the trial at district courts is getting hampered by this.
Also, an affidavit was filed by the Medical Superintendent SKIMS informing the court that there was no leakage of medical records relating to the examination of the victim in the case and that the same was handed over to the investigating officer. The court after hearing the submission took the report on record.
Meanwhile, the J&K Legal Services Authority and J&K Police submitted an action plan to ensure linkage between police stations and offices of legal services authority. The same was taken on record.
“The same shall be implemented forthwith by the Jammu and Kashmir Legal Services Authority and the J&K Police. An action taken report shall be placed before us by both the Director General of Police as well as the J&K State Legal Services Authority,” the court directed.
It was also directed that all steps which are required to be taken forthwith to operationalise the action plan shall be taken expeditiously. “The status report shall be sent to this court,” the order said.
On the previous hearing, direction was issued to Member Secretary, J& K State Legal Services Authority, to place before the court an action plan and proper guidelines/ protocol to ensure linkage between police stations and offices of the Legal Services Authority in order to address the following:-
“i. Supply of information regarding any case of sexual violence immediately by the police authorities to the legal services authorities. This information can be transmitted using SMSs, Whatsapp, e-mail or telephones.
ii. The Legal Services Authority shall ensure legal aid to a victim right from the beginning i.e., from the stage of lodging of complaint and registration of the case; medical examination; recording of statement; throughout the trial and till the end of the case.
iii. The Legal Services Authority shall ensure that proper medical treatment was also administered to the victim.
iv. Release of compensation under the Victim of Compensation Scheme at the earliest, preferably within 24 hours of an incident of sexual violence being reported.”
Meanwhile, time was sought by counsels appearing for YouTube LLC and Twitter International Company to file their responses.
“Inasmuch as M/s YouTube LLC and Twitter International Company have entered appearance today, it is directed that URLs of posts which are identified from the reports on record submitted by the amicus curiae shall be forthwith removed from their respective websites,” the court directed.
Response was also filed by the newspapers, Kashmir Glory, Daily Ilhaaq, Kashmir Observer. “Their responses shall be considered on the next date of hearing,” the court said.
Also, notice was issued to the daily newspapers “Daily Afaaq and Kashmir Vision” to show cause as to why they have not filed their response. “Let the same be so done within one week from today,” the court said.
The Department of Information was directed to place a report before the court indicating steps taken by them in terms of Section 44 of J&K POCSO Act.