SC Transfers Plea Seeking CBI Probe Into ‘Gangrape’ Of 14-yr-old Scheduled Caste Girl By ‘Men In Uniform’ To Orissa HC
A Supreme Court bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice UU Lalit has transferred a petition seeking CBI probe into the alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old Scheduled Caste girl by “men in uniform” and subsequently her suicide to death last month in Koraput district, to Orissa High Court saying four petitions on similar issue were pending there.
The bench passed the order after the state government counsel submitted a list of petitions pending in the high court on the issue.
“If the issue was not pending in the high court, we could have entertained the petition,” the bench said while transferring the matter.
The girl had committed suicide due to frustration for not getting justice.
On October 10 last year, she had alleged that she was raped by “four men in uniform” at Kunduli while she was returning to her home at Musaguda village in the Naxal-hit Koraput district.
However, the state police had later claimed in a report that the girl was not raped at all. The issue had taken political colour in the state.
The petition filed by one Bhagban Chhatti sought the CBI investigation in the following ground;
- The deceased victim who is a Scheduled Caste minor girl of 14-15 years was allegedly gang raped in broad daylight by the men in police uniforms in Lenjiguda Ghati, Koraput, Odisha on 10.10.2017 and thereafter she was pressurized and harassed by the police authorities to change her statement and withdraw the complaint which led her to end her life by committing suicide. It is pertinent to mention that the victim girl previously tried to commit suicide but failed, however, she ultimately succeeded in taking her own life.
- The alleged incident took place on 10.10.2017 around 10.30 am at Lenjiguda Ghati, Koraput, Odisha. It is pertinent to mention that even before registration of any complaint the Director General of Police, Odisha around 2 pm issued a press statement at Bhubaneswar, Odisha, thereby declining that any police personnel are involved in the alleged incident.
- The victim girl before committing suicide leveled allegation against the Director General of Police, Odisha, that he tried to offer money to the victim for obtaining signatures on a blank sheet of paper to change her statement. The relatives of the victim were assaulted and threatened of being falsely labelled as “naxals”. It essentially means that the top echelons of the police department are involved in sabotaging the investigation of the alleged offences.
- The conduct of the investigating agency i.e. the state police illustrates that they have vested interest in undermining the investigation inasmuch as already the case has lead to mass protest in the state and the credibility of the state police is at stake.
- The state police department cannot be entrusted with the investigation of the alleged offences as their conduct in investigating of the said incident illustrates the fact that they are shielding the accused and portray the whole incident as false and frivolous.
- All attempts have been made by the entire state machinery to manipulate the medical evidence of the victim which is particularly important in the present case as the victim has subsequently committed suicide, inasmuch as the SFSL Report dated 16.10.2017 ascertained the presence of semen on the recovered material but a contradictory report was issued on 23.10.2017 denying the presence of any semen on the recovered materials and further a press release was issued to clarify that SFSL Report dated 16.10.2017 was inconsequential as it was a preliminary report.
- The police department has adopted questionable methods in investigating the present incident as it is drawing up its own conclusions and disclosing said conclusions to the public instead of forwarding its findings to the court for appropriate action.
- The facts reflect that the entire investigation has been compromised and the case requires de novo investigation by an independent agency.