SrinagarThe J&K high court has ordered inquiry against the prosecuting officer and an Assistant Sub Inspector of police within four weeks even as it recommended appropriate action against a judicial officer for granting bail to woman who had subjected a girl to submit herself to the sexual lust and desire of three persons raped her for long time in R S Pura area of Jammu last year.
Hearing a petition filed by victim girls father seeking quashing of the bail order passed by the Judicial Magistrate, Ist Class R. S. Pura Jammu, granting bail to the accused woman Masooma Bibi was granted bail for.
This case reflects a sad and a sordid state of affairs. The fences appear to have swollen the crops. Law has been made lame by the very persons, who were supposed to interpret, execute and implement it. It has been made to limp by those designed and entrusted with the task of protecting the life and limb of the citizens of the State, a bench of Justice M K Hanjura said while quashing the bail order.
The Magistrate, the court said, appears to have acted in the most cavalier, casual and perfunctory manner in dealing with the application for admitting Masooma Bibi to bail. The prosecuting officer, who has filed the objections and the ASI Police Station R. S. Pura who has submitted the report in the application for enlarging Masooma Bibi to bail, have suppressed the material facts, perhaps, deliberately in order to facilitate the exit of the accused. Magistrate Ist Class R.S. Pura, the prosecuting officer and the ASI Police Station R. S. Pura appear to have worked in tandem to deny Justice to a hapless girl victimised and exploited sexually, the court said.
Facts o the case
On 14 September last year, Bibi moved an application before the Magistrate Ist Class R.S. Pura for admitting her to bail. The Assistant Sub Inspector R. S. Pura prepared and submitted a report before the Magistrate Ist Class R.S. Pura on 18.09.2017. The prosecuting officer filed his objections to the application of the accused on 19.09.2017. The statement of the prosecutrix, (name withheld) was recorded on 15.09.2017 by the Magistrate.
The prosecutrix, as is evident from her statement recorded under Section 164-A Cr.P.C. has a tale to tell. It is a tale of woe covered by the veneer of human degradation. The statement of the prosecutrix is that she is about 15 years of age. On 22.08.2017 at about 8:00 am, she went to the school. She left the school at about 1330 hours for her home located at Chakrohi, Suchetgarh. However, before she could reach her home, she spotted a vehicle, white in colour that stopped near her. Eight to nine persons were sitting in the vehicle, she said as recorded by the court. All of them, except for the driver, alighted from the vehicle. They started beating her and her friend, who was accompanying her at the moment. One of them was wielding a gun. They dashed her school bag unto the ground and forcibly pushed her into the vehicle. The man, who was armed with the gun, told her that, in case she musters the courage to raise a hue and cry, he will put her to death. After pushing her into the vehicle, they too boarded the vehicle. They started beating her. Only one amongst themMst. Masooma Bibi, who lives in her vicinity, was known to her. She (Mst. Masooma Bibi) along with others forced and coerced her to take water. On consuming the same, she lost her consciousness. The inmates of the vehicle talked to someone on phone. They told him that they will carry her (the prosecutrix) to Punjab. It was pitch dark when the vehicle, in which she was pushed, stopped near a forest. There was no habitation in and around the forest except for a shed kula. They carried her inside the shed. Out of these persons, 4 to 5 were women. The accused Bibi stripped her forcibly. She gave her another set of wearing apparels. She told her that she has to solemnise the marriage with Shokat Ali. A Moulvi was called and he performed her marriage with Shokat Ali. During the night, Shokat Ali, Teju and Salman violated her sexually. All of them confined her in the forest for 20 to 22 days, the court recorded, adding, They would rotate their location every day. During all these 20 to 22 days, Shokat Ali, Teju and Salman raped her. On the 11th day of September, 2017, they forcibly took her to a Court. They told her to make a statement there to the effect that she is in love with Shokat Ali and wanted to marry him. They also told her that in case she does not state so, she will be killed. Some other persons were also there, whom she can identify but does not know them by their names. When she went inside the Court, she narrated the entire episode to the Presiding Officer. She told him that she does not want to marry ShokatAli and she has been brought to the Court to make a false statement.
On hearing her, the Presiding Officer of the Court summoned the police authorities who took her to the Police Station along with Shokat Ali. They interrogated them and informed the S.H.O. Police Station R. S. Pura about their presence in the Police Station. After sometime the police authorities of Police Station, R.S. Pura reached there along with her father and the village Sarpanch. The police authorities of Police Station R.S. Pura entrusted her custody to her father. Shokat Ali was taken to the police station where he was detained. On the next day, she was subjected to medical examination in R.S. Pura Hospital. At a time when she was kidnapped she did not know anyone amongst these 8 to 9 persons, except for the accused Bibi. However, since she lived in their company for 20 to 22 days, therefore, she came to know them by their names. They are Shokat Ali, Teju, Salman, Kasim Din, Rashid, Munna, Zulfa and Kabar Rashid.
No doubt, this Court is conscious of the fact that elaborate documentation is not required to be made in the bail application, but the law provides that while dealing with an application for bail, there is a need to indicate in the order, reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granted particularly where an accused is charged of having committed a serious offence, the court said.
Before parting, the court said, it needs must be said that the prosecuting officer and the incharge ASI Police Station R.S. Pura, have suppressed a material fact in the objections filed and the report submitted before the Court. They have not stated anywhere in the objections and the report that in her statement recorded prior in point of time, the prosecutrix has (Bibi) of compelling her to submit herself to the sexual lust and desire of three persons, who subjected her to forcible rape for a long time. This serious lapse on their part requires a thorough probe, the court said and ordered that it was a fit case where an inquiry should be conducted against the prosecuting officer and the ASI concerned to find their culpability. Registrar (Judicial) of this wing of the High Court shall forward a copy of this order to the DGP J&K Police for conducting an inquiry into the conduct of the afore-named Officers and he shall report before this Court the result of the inquiry and action, if any, taken against them with utmost dispatch preferably within a period of four weeks, the court said, adding, A copy of this order shall also be placed before the Chief Justice for initiating appropriate action as deemed fit against the Judicial Magistrate concerned so that the faith of the people on the temple of justice is not shattered and eroded.
One of the most inhuman acts indulged in is when the animal instincts in a human take possession of him and he sexually assaults an adolescent girl, caring little what bruises he causes her bodily and psychologically. The assault causes psychological, sexual and medical injuries to the victim with no attenuating factors to, in any way, lessen the criminal ferocity, the court observed. Right from intention down to the act of crime, the intent is fully malicious. No one has come to the rescue of the ill-fated and infelicitous girl child, not even the State that has remained a mute spectator to this abominable crime.
The father of the prosecutrix, the court said, has been forced to move the Court when the state showed its back and buckle. A girl child belongs to all irrespective of the religion, race and caste to which she belongs. Justice has to be meted out to the victim as well.
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