Taking suo motu cognizance on the assessment of the criminal justice system regarding sexual offences, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a reply and status report from all the states and High Courts on aspects such as investigation process, collection of evidence, recording of statement of victim and time frame for trial.
Taking serious note of the rising number of rape cases in the country, the apex court underlined the need to collate information and status reports to ensure holistic implementation of the provisions of the rape law.
The top court also appointed senior advocate Siddharth Luthra as amicus curiae for assistance in the matter, PTI reported.
An amicus curia is someone who is not a party to a case and is not necessarily solicited but assists a court by offering information, expertise or insight that has bearing on the issues in the case.
Citing the delay in the verdict of the December 2012 gangrape case, the Supreme Court said: ‘The December 2012 rape case shocked nation’s conscience; delay in such matters created agitation, anxiety, and unrest in the minds of people.’ Earlier today, the court rejected the review petition by one of the four-death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case.
This comes two days after CJI SA Bobde appointed a committee of two Supreme Court Judges for ensuring speedy disposal of rape cases across the country. The Committee consists of Justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.
The CJI had constituted the panel in the exercise of his administrative powers for the purpose of monitoring of the cases through the High Courts to ensure their speedy disposal in a time-bound manner.
The development comes following nationwide outrage over the Unnao and Hyderabad rape incidents. On December 5, a 23-year-old rape victim in Unnao was set on fire by five men, including two accused in the rape case of whom one was freed on bail a few days earlier. She was on her way to catch a train to Rae Bareli in connection with the rape case. She suffered 70 per cent burns and succumbed to her injuries the following day. On November 27, a woman veterinarian was raped and killed by four men in Hyderabad. The accused were later killed by the Telangana Police in an exchange of fire.
(With PTI, agency inputs)
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