Suicide By Rape Victim

Shocked over the inaction of the district administration over suicide by a minor rape victim, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Karnal district commissioner (DC) and the superintendent of police (SP) to submit reasons for the “neglect in performance of duties.”

In this case, the minor, a 12-year-old Class V student, had committed suicide almost two years after no action was taken against those who had raped and committed an unnatural act with her.“Let the response be filed by way of affidavit by DC and SP Karnal for the said lapse. The said affidavits be filed through the principal secretary and through the DGP,” the HC ordered.

The high court observed that, unfortunately, the minor victim who was sexually abused, ended her life after a period of one year and about nine months after her sexual abuse, as the accused who lived in her neighbourhood remained free, and she was not provided with any assistance despite the enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015; the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Rules, 2020; as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The court noted that the FIR was registered on September 21, 2019, and the child committed suicide on March 5, 2021. During this period, the minor girl could have been struggling with herself and even after recording her statement under Section 164 CrPC on December 11, 2019, she could have been struggling alone and ultimately, she committed suicide. “During all this period, prima facie no action has been taken on the part of the police authorities, state authorities, including the child welfare authorities,” observed the high court.

Questioning the role of child welfare authorities, the HC observed that such committees have serious responsibilities towards children who are in need of care and protection and a detailed procedure was required to be followed in relation to such a child.

Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan passed these orders while hearing the bail plea filed by one of the main accused, Lovely alias Lovekesh. “Inaction on the part of the police authorities is further highlighted by the fact that despite the father of the minor victim informing the police by way of making a written complaint that his daughter had tried to commit suicide on account of her sexual abuse, no action has been taken against the co-accused. As per the FIR, the minor victim was under constant threat from the co-accused of the petitioner, one of whom was residing in the neighbourhood of the victim,” the judge said.


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