STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 10 July
The Delhi High Court today asked the government to apprise it of the number of rescue operations carried out in the brothels of the Capital in the last one-and-half years, seeking whether, after the rescue operations, FIRs have been registered against the accused.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the Delhi government to inform it whether the FIRs registered after the rescue operations resulted in investigations, and whether cases were filed in court. Police has to file a status report within four weeks.
The said direction came as the court took suo moto cognisance of a media report on the failure of police to register an FIR on the charge of gang-rape after a teenaged girl was rescued from a brothel. The media report said not even an FIR was registered in the case.
Advocate Zubeda Begam, who was appointed to assist the court in the case, informed the court that the girl has safely returned to West Bengal, and is staying with her parents.
"Police even did not file the FIR (first information report) on the charge of gang-rape… We want guidelines in this regard," said the bench. According to the news report, the police had even allowed the alleged culprits, the girl’s abductors and brothel owners, to intimidate the victim during her appearance in court.
Reportedly, a 19-year-old girl was rescued 9 May by police from a brothel at GB Road in central Delhi. Police did not deem it fit to register a case of gang-rape.
"Rather, it allowed her rapists, abductors and brothel owners to intimidate her during her court presence. And while her father had come from South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal to take his youngest daughter back, she was sent to Nari Niketan instead," the report said. Also, the court inquired about another girl who was rescued from the brothel. Advocate Zubeda Begam told the court that the girl belonged to Nepal and her parents could not be traced, so she was sent to Nari Niketan.
However, to this, the bench asked the counsel to continue the search for her parents. If her parents could not be traced, then the girl could be released to her guardians.
The court asked police to file a status report on this issue too, while posting the matter for 14 August.