On Wednesday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), as well as the Secretary, DLSA, Faridabad, to award interim compensation to a 14 year old victim.
A direction is given to the DLSA, Mewat at Nuh by the bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan to appoint a lady Counsellor, who will periodically conduct counselling of the minor victim for her rehabilitation and to take care of her health condition as she has become a mother at a very young age of 14 years.
The victim was raped by the accused Shakeel and the co-accused Shamshad. On pretext and by threatening, the victim was repeatedly raped by them, and because of fear; the victim did not disclose anything to anyone.
On 29.05.2020, when the victim suddenly became unwell, she was taken to a doctor, who informed that she is pregnant by 3-4 months. When the complainant (Father of the victim) and his wife (Mother of the victim) enquired about it from the victim, she told about the rape committed by the accused persons.
On 01.06.2020, the FIR was registered and an anticipatory bail application was filed by the petitioner – Shakeel in the case registered under Sections 363, 366-A, 188, 506 of IPC, 6 and 19 of the POCSO Act and 67-B of the IT Act.
As per the order dated 06.10.2020 a report was called about the health condition of the victim, from the Chief Medical Officer, Nuh, and it was directed that the Chief Medical Officer, Nuh, will examine the victim and inform whether her health and safety allow terminating the pregnancy, at this stage.
Noticing the fact that the minor victim had already delivered a child, the said C.W.P. was adjourned to 26.11.2020. After hearing the counsel for the parties, the Court did not find any ground to grant the concession of anticipatory bail to the petitioner, and accordingly, the petition was dismissed considering the serious allegations against the petitioner of committing rape with a minor girl aged 14 years, who became pregnant and delivered a child on 05.11.2020.
The Court issued directions as mentioned above to DLSA , Court took into account the fact that the minor victim aged 14 years, “remained under constant threat to her life since February, 2020, when the offence of rape was committed for the first time, till date, despite having given birth to a child, who is stated to be in a Charitable Hospital/Society at Faridabad”.The Apex Court had held that “the Court has a right to award interim compensation to the victim and further directed the State of West Bengal to provide adequate compensation for the rehabilitation of the victim”
Court directed the DLSA, Mewat at Nuh as well as DLSA, Faridabad to furnish the report “about the action taken in this regard and the interim compensation provided to the minor victim as well as the arrangements made for the upbringing of the minor child.” in the month of May, 2021.
Also the Superintendent of Police, Mewat at Nuh, has also been directed to look into the threat perception to the family of the complainant as well as the minor girl/victim. And the guidelines are issued for dealing with victims under POCSO Act, and furnish an affidavit about the investigation of the case to the Registrar General of this court.
Case title – Shakeel v. State of Haryana [CRM-M No.38402 of 2020 (O&M)]
Coram: Hon’ble Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan