Day 5 ArgumentsPOCSO Implementation
August 5th 2019
Today, a two judge bench of the Supreme Court – comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose – heard a status update on its orders in the Unnao rape matter. It inquired about the transfer of the victim and lawyer to Delhi, and listed the matter for 9 August.
Prior to the Unnao car crash, on 12 July, the Supreme Court initiated took cognisance of the poor implementation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. It requested Senior Advocate V Giri to assist it as an Amicus Curiae in collecting data and proposing draft guidelines.
On 31 July, after noting the receipt of a letter from the Unnao rape victim’s family requesting speedy and fair trial, the Supreme Court included the Unnao rape matter under the scope of its suo moto writ petition.
On 1 August, the court issued the following orders:
- victim and lawyer’s families given option of medical transfer to Delhi for advanced treatment
- the State of Uttar Pradesh to pay Rs 25 lakh exemplary compensation to the victim
- Central Reserve Police Force to provide protection to the victim, lawyer and victim’s family
- Transfer of all cases in the matter have to a trial judge in Delhi. (On 2 Aug, it suspended the transfer of the fifth case for jurisdictional reasons)
- Trial in all five cases to be completed within 45 days of trial commencement
On 2 August, the court monitored the implementation of its orders. The victim’s family expressed some concerns over proceeding with her airlift to Delhi. Accordingly, the court allowed her to remain in Lucknow, but listed the matter today for a status update on her medical condition. Further, It directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to immediately transfer the victim’s uncle to Tihar jail in Delhi to secure his safety.
In today’s short hearing, Justice Deepak Gupta inquired whether the families of the victim or lawyer wanted to transfer them to Delhi. He suggested that the matter be listed on Friday, 9 August if no such transfer was requested by the families.
Amicus Curiae V Giri requested the court to list the matter on Friday, 9 August.
The state of Uttar Pradesh submitted that the victim’s uncle, Mahesh Singh, had been transferred to Tihar jail, Delhi from Raebareli jail, Uttar Pradesh.
The next hearing is on 9 August.
Update, 2.45pm, 5 August:
After the hearing concluded, the court ordered the medical transfer of the victim, on the condition that she is medically fit to be airlifted. The order came after the counsel for the victim approached the bench to request the medical transfer. He submitted that the family sought the medical airlift (the Hindu reports)