The Jharkhand high court pumped adrenaline into the nine-year-old rape victim’s case by sacking the sub-inspector-rank investigating officer for tardy pace of probe and directing the government to hand over the case to an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police.
The girl was raped on July 2 and the accused, a 42-year-old man, was arrested on July 16. Nearly two months have passed but the police were yet to conduct test identification parade of the accused, without which the case had no merit.
“We don’t want the case lodged by the victim herself investigated by an ordinary official,” said a division bench of Chief Justice Virender Singh and Justice PP Bhatt.
“Tell the DSP to conclude the investigation within the shortest possible time. The trial will then be completed within a month from the filing of the “police charge sheet” in a fast-track court,” the bench said on Tuesday.
The court initiated a PIL on their own on August 29 after taking cognisance of an HT report that highlighted the plight of a poor father who, unable to afford a cycle, walked 4 km daily carrying his daughter in his arms to a health centre to dress her wounds.
Following the report, people donated money for the victim and by Tuesday, around Rs 13 lakh was deposited in the account. Medanta hospital offered free treatment and shifted the girl, who had to undergo colectomy, to their Ranchi hospital for further surgery.
Appreciating the efforts of HT, the hospital and the donors, the bench said: “All these gave solace to us”. It added the money required for the follow-up treatment shall be borne by the state after her release.