SC takes suo motu cognizance of Bengal gang rape

SC takes suo motu cognizance of Bengal gang rape

Taking suo motu cognizance of the gang-rape of a tribal woman by 13 men in Birbhum district, the Supreme Court on Friday expressed its shock and sought response from the West Bengal government.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice P Sathasivam directed the district judge to conduct a probe and file a report within week.

The incident –which took place on January 21 allegedly at the instance of village
panchayat – shocked the conscience of the court, which decided to look into the matter.

As the bench assembled in the morning, the CJI informed the gathering that the court was taking cognizance of the shocking incident that had appeared in the media.

The gang-rape of the 20-year-old woman was allegedly ordered by a village head at a kangaroo court in Labhpur, about 200 km from Kolkata, as punishment for falling in love with a man from a different religion.

Rape as punishment

She was gang-raped by 13 persons after a “salishi sabha” or kangaroo court decided to punish her on January 21.

The tribal woman is now battling for her life at a hospital in Suri.

The victim and her family members in their complaint before the police there had said that among those who brutalised her were people old enough to be her father.

The victim and her paramour were caught, tied to a tree and assaulted after which they were asked to pay a fine of Rs 50,000.

 The gang-rape took place after the girl expressed her inability to pay the amount.
All the accused, including village head (known in the area as “morol”), have been arrested. All the 13 accused were presented before a court there which has remanded them to 14 days’ judicial custody.

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