Justice Sadhna Jadhav of the Bombay High Court has expunged her remarks and observations which were made while granting bail to a man accused of sexually assaulting his adopted daughter.
The reasoning given for the bail order was- “She has admitted that she used to do all dirty things. It appears that she was inherently abnormal and had sexual instincts right from her childhood, in all probabilities, because of the environment and atmosphere where she lived and the conduct of her deceased mother.”
The above para has now been expunged as the state government filed an application seeking the same. Although the clarification given for expunging these observations is - “It was merely a reproduction of the observations/diagnosis recorded by Dr. Surekha Bajaj, Holy Spirit Hospital. The said certificate is a part of the chargesheet.”
Justice Jadhav further reiterated that her comments recorded in the earlier order were not findings of the court but merely a reproduction of the chargesheet.
As stated in the earlier order, the girl’s mother was HIV positive and died in 2006. She was adopted by the accused when she was 9 years old. When she was in sixth standard, her adoptive father had sexually abused her and this trauma continued till September 2015 and finally she decided to approach an NGO that works for protection of children from sexual abuses.
After her mother’s death, the girl was taken to an institution called Fatima Mata Sadan on May 31, 2006. The order states that the Supervisor of the said protective home had observed “unnatural behaviour of the girl, she had received several complaints from the inmates also and, therefore, the Supervisor had taken her into confidence and upon enquiry had found that she had an unwarranted and unnatural behaviour."
What the modified order states
Seeking to justify it’s earlier order, the court has stated in the modified order - “In fact, this court has observed that the victim is not responsible for the same or it does not specify her conduct. It can be the effect of environment and atmosphere, where she lived and conduct of her deceased mother.”
However, the 5 page order that has now been modified does not mention anywhere how the girl was not to blame, in fact after reproducing the statement made by the supervisor the expunged lines were stated and then the court observed how the victim was 17 years old at the time of lodging the complaint and there had been “a considerable lapse of time” in lodging the complaint.
Thereafter the bail was granted. Furthermore, it was observed that the victim girl still continues to be kept at the rescue home in Dongri even though she attained majority, “in all probabilities because of her abnormal behaviour.”
Read the order here.
This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.