Delhi High Court, Image: PTI/File
The Delhi High Court on Monday took cognisance of the case of sexual assault of a minor girl allegedly by suspended Delhi government officer Premoday Khakha and directed the authorities to ensure that the identity of the survivor is not revealed in any manner. A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula, initiated on its own a public interest litigation (PIL) after taking suo motu cognisance of the incident.
The high court said the survivor should get due protection and compensation. The bench was informed by the counsel for Delhi government and police that the girl is admitted to a government hospital here and her condition is critical. It asked the Department of Women and Child Development of Delhi government, police and the Centre to file a report in the matter.
The court's detailed order is awaited. The matter is listed for further hearing on September 14. During the hearing, the counsel for National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said it has also taken cognisance of the matter and there have been certain anomalies in compliance of rules by authorities. The counsel said they will file a report.
The suspended officer, who allegedly raped the girl several time and impregnated her, was arrested by the police on August 21 and is in judicial custody. His wife Seema Rani, who is accused of giving the girl medicine to terminate her pregnancy, is also in judicial custody.
Khakha had allegedly raped the minor several times between November 2020 and January 2021. She was staying at the residence of the accused, a family friend, after her father passed away on October 1, 2020, the police had said. The two were arrested after the victim recorded her statement before a magistrate at a hospital.
A case has been registered under provisions of the POCSO Act and Indian Penal Code sections 376(2)(f) (being a relative, guardian or teacher of, or a person in a position of trust or authority towards the woman, commits rape on such woman) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to outrage the modesty of a woman), police said. IPC sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman's consent) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) have also been invoked in the case, police said.
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