SRINAGAR The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday directed Inspector General of Police, Kashmir to ensure that the investigation into the rape case of a three-year-old girl child in Sumbal village was conducted strictly in accordance with the law.
Hearing a suo-moto Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan also directed the You Tube, Facebook and Twitter to remove all materials, posts and publications which tend to disclose the identity and name of the infant victim.
The Status report from the IGP Kashmir also suggests that the age determination of the accused is also underway. The same shall be also strictly comport to the requirement of Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and the Rules framed thereunder, the court said.
Intermediaries in Sec 2(1) (w) of the Information and Technology Act 2000, the permissibility for this court to fasten liability for violations of Section 23 of J&K POCSO Act against intermediaries and service providers would have to be examined, the court said and forthwith direct the You Tube, Facebook and Twitter to remove all materials/posts/publications.
Also Principal Secretary to Government, Health and Medical Education Department submitted a report in compliance with the courts direction, informing that the victim was initially medically examined on May 8 by Medical Officer posted at Community Health Centre, Sumbal. Thereafter, the victim was referred her to SKIMS Medical College Bemina, Srinagar.
The victim was then examined and a series of investigations conducted at SKIMS and that reports whereof stand handed over to the police authorities. Certain articles, which were seized, were also handed over to the police for further investigation, the report said.
The victim, as per the report, was given proper medical treatment and now she is in a stable condition and provided with psychiatric counselling as well.
The court also issued direction to the Member Secretary, J&K State Legal Services Authority to place before the Court an action plan and proper guidelines and protocol to ensure linkage between the police stations and the offices of the Legal Services Authority in order to address among others supply of information regarding any case of sexual violence immediately by the police authorities to the legal services authorities. This information can be transmitted using SMSs, WhatsApp, e-mail or telephones. The court also directed the Legal Services Authority to ensure legal aid to a victim right from the beginning i.e., from the stage of lodging of complaint and registration of the case; medical examination; recording of statement; throughout the trial and till the end of the case.
The Legal Services Authority shall ensure that proper medical treatment was also administered to the victim, the court said, adding, Release of compensation under the Victim of Compensation Scheme at the earliest, preferably within 24 hours of an incident of sexual violence being reported.
It also directed that a proper protocol in this regard shall be placed before the Court within ten days from today.
We also direct the Information Department of J&K to place before us the report regarding the measures taken in terms of Section 44 of J&K POCSO.