New Delhi: Supreme Court on Tuesday directed CBI to probe the alleged rape and assault of a 22-year-old girl by his father who tried to force her into prostitution and the failure of the Uttar Pradesh police to act on her complaint.
"Prima facie the police has acted in a partisan manner to shield the real culprits," the court said while expressing its pain that "a class of women are trapped as prostitutes" and "rich communities exploit them and harvest at their misery and ignominy in an organised gangsterism, in particular, with police nexus."
A Meerut girl had directly approached the apex court through some public spirited advocates to narrate the story of her ordeal at the hands of her father and his accomplices who allegedly raped and assaulted her for "not accepting their demand to enter the flesh trade in which her family is actively involved".
A bench of Justices M Y Eqbal and Shiva Kirti Singh said the case was fit to be handed over for independent probe since serious allegations have also been levelled against UP Police.
"Having regard to the facts, sequence of events and inordinate delay in the investigation of the case, it would show that the investigation by the state police authorities is not being conducted in a proper direction. More than two years have passed but the police failed to conclude the investigation, which itself goes to show that police have not acted in a forthright manner in investigating the case.
"Prima facie the police has acted in a partisan manner to shield the real culprits and the investigation of the case is not being conducted in a proper and objective manner. Since local police is allegedly involved as per the statement of the petitioner recorded under Section 164, there may not be fair investigation," the bench observed.
"Taking into consideration the entire facts of the case and very serious allegations made against all respondents including police officers, it is a fit case where the investigation has to be handed over to an independent agency like CBI for the purpose of fair and unbiased investigation
"We, therefore, allow this petition and direct the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate the case independently and in an objective manner and to conclude the same in accordance with law," the bench said.
The bench was so anguished over the entire incident that
it made some strong observations during the proceedings.
"One cannot ignore the fact that still, a class of women is trapped as victims of circumstances, unfounded social sanctions, handicaps and coercive forms in the flesh trade, optimised as 'prostitutes'.
"The victims of the trap are the poor, illiterate and ignorant sections of the society and are the target group in the flesh trade; rich communities exploit them and harvest at their misery and ignominy in an organised gangsterism, in particular, with police nexus. It is of grave social concern, increasingly realised by enlightened public spirited sections of the society to prevent gender exploitation of girl children," the bench said.
The 22-year-old girl has claimed that even though her FIR was registered in 2013, neither was her statement recorded nor her medical examination under Section 164A of the CrPC been carried out by the UP Police, despite repeated notices and reminders sent to the authorities.