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HC raps state over resident schools

india Updated: Jan 31, 2009 00:59 IST
Urvi Mahajani
Urvi Mahajani
Hindustan Times
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Which provision of law requires that a rape victim should be made to take a pregnancy test, asked the Bombay High Court on Friday.

The court questioned after the Thane police produced medical records of a 15-year-old girl lodged at an ashram shala (resident school) in Palghar — who had lodged a first information report against the superintendent of the school for allegedly raping her repeatedly — which showed that she was not pregnant.

A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice DY Chandrachud directed state to get the girl examined at the JJ Hospital on Saturday and submit a confidential report.

“The doctors should opine whether she has been subjected to sexual intercourse,” observed the judges.

The state government has also been asked to file a separate affidavit regarding the cause of the death of five tribal children.

Additional public prosecutor Pradip Patil said four of the five children had died due to viral fever and they were at their respective homes and not in the ashram shala at the time of their death.

“This is very shocking. Just because the children happen to be adivasis they are allowed to die. They are entitled to protection to life under our constitution,” the Chief Justice said.

The sorry state of affairs of the ashram shalas came under the scanner after social activist Suresh Shinda wrote to the Chief Justice in 2007, stating that in 2006-07 five tribal children lodged at the Dahanu ashram shala had died after they were sent home without any treatment.