Delhi HC Seeks Report In Dalit Girl Rape Case, Probe Team Set Up

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The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought a report from the police on the status of investigation into the alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old Dalit girl in the national capital even as it was informed that an SIT has been set up to probe the case.
Justice Yogesh Khanna, who was hearing a plea by the parents of the victim girl for constituting a special investigation team (SIT) for a court-monitored probe, directed the police to file the status report before the next of hearing on November 8.

“Status report be filed so as to know the stage of the investigation,” the judge said.

Standing counsel Sanjay Lao, appearing for State, said that an SIT has already been constituted after the case was transferred from the local police station to Crime Branch.

“DCP, Crime Branch has constituted the SIT. There are two ACPs. The prayer has been fulfilled,” Mr Lao said as he informed the probe was being monitored by the high-ranking officials of Delhi Police.

He added that two accused persons have admitted to the crime and provisions for alleged commission of offences of murder and rape under the Indian Penal Code, section 6 under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 have been added to the FIR.

Round-the-clock security has also been provided to the parents, Mr Lao informed the court.

With regards the parents’ prayer to initiate a judicial inquiry into the administrative lapses in the case, Mr Lao contended that the same could be considered only after the conclusion of the investigation.
The court observed that in view of the State’s stand, the prayers in the petition seemed to have been answered.

“The investigation is at a nascent stage. We can’t direct judicial inquiry at this stage,” the judge stated.

“When they have constituted the SIT, let them do their work. You can’t presuppose (the outcome),” the court observed during the hearing.

The court nonetheless directed that a status report be filed before the disposal of the petition.

In their plea, the parents of the victim have stated that they have “no faith in the present investigation” which has now been transferred to the crime branch of the Delhi Police.

“What type of SIT has been constituted? Nine days after the incident, police moved the application of custodial interrogation of the accused. What is this type of investigation by the so-called SIT?,” questioned advocate Jitendra Kumar Jha, appearing for the parents.

The plea further sought adequate safety and security to them as well as the other witnesses in the case along with judicial inquiry into the lapses on the administrative front in the case in order to reveal the reason behind the delay in police response and “why no vital evidence was preserved”.

They alleged that the “total focus of the police was to hush up/sabotage the case” and that the parents were “tortured and pressurised by the police and its agent to compromise the case”.

The delay in registration of FIR that too under diluted offences itself indicates the police did not want to give justice, said the petition.

The parents have submitted that they belong to the poorest section of society and are illiterate and are under the force and influence of various groups with vested interest.

The minor Dalit girl died under suspicious circumstances on August 1 even as her parents alleged that she was raped, murdered and cremated by a crematorium’s priest in southwest Delhi’s Old Nangal village.

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