Court seeks govt response on implementation of its directions.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response of the Centre and states on the status of the implementation of its directions issued from time to time for an effective and speedy investigation and trial of rape cases as it took suo motu cognizance of the rising rape cases across the country.
Noting that in year 2017 alone, 32,559 cases of rape were registered in India, a Bench of Chief Justice S. A. Bobde, Justice B. R. Gavai and Justice Surya Kant said that post 2012 Nirbhaya incident, which had “shocked the conscience of the nation”, many amendments were introduced in the criminal law “redefining the ambit of the offence and for effective and speedy investigation and trial” of rape cases. “The statistics would reveal that desired results could not be achieved,” the court noted seeking the status report from the states on the implementation of its several directions issued in the past relating to the registration of cases, investigation, medical and forensic examination, and the speedy trial, including victim compensation and rehabilitation.
“The delay in such matters, in recent times, created agitation, anxiety, and unrest in the minds of the people,” said the order passed today by the court obviously taking note of the public outcry over the failure of criminal justice system in the wake of the rape and murder of a doctor in Hyderabad.
The court said that the “Nirbhaya case is not an isolated case where it has taken so long to reach finality” as it noted that it has been one of the cases where agencies had acted swiftly taking into account the public outrage.
Having noted the seriousness of the situation and public disquiet over the working of the criminal justice system, the court said, “We are therefore of the view that it is necessary to take stock of the implementation of provisions of criminal law, including the said (2013) amendment relating to rape cases and other sexual offences.”
Having said this, the court called for information on the “status of affairs at the ground level” from various “duty holders” like investigation agencies, prosecution., medic-forensic agencies, rehabilitation, legal aid agencies and also courts to “get a holistic view to make criminal justice system responsive to the cases of this nature”.
Embarking on the course of taking stock of the working of the criminal justice system, the court appointed senior counsel Sidharth Luthra as amicus curiae to assist the court in hearing of the matter.
The court asked the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to extend co-operation to the amicus.