The Ashiana gang rape survivor has been fighting on for over a decade to bring her tormentors to justice, but the way her case is dragging on seems to be testing her resilience.
Eight months since her case came to the fast track court, charges against the prime accused are yet to be framed. She says, “Initially, the hearings were scheduled at frequent intervals. But now things are moving at a snail’s pace.”
“Once, the judge was on leave and the next date of hearing was scheduled for next month. The files of the co-accused are not being presented in the court to speed up the proceedings,” she alleged.
The victim’s father, who has been visiting the court regularly with her, says: “It was in March that the court declared the prime accused a major at the time of the incident. Besides, it isn’t for the first time that the decision on his age has been taken. Now that his age is decided and conviction of others in the case has been done, there isn’t any point in delaying the matter. But, since the accused is influential, he has all tactics at his disposal.”
The delay in justice has left the family of the victim completely shattered. She lost her elder brother recently. “Life seems to have come to a standstill for us. My relatives say that I have become the cause of all troubles and that my fight for justice has spoilt their life. My younger sister’s marriage is getting delayed because my case is not finalised,” said the victim.
Nevertheless, the gritty young woman continues to soldier on. After passing her Class 10 examination from an open school, she has enrolled for a computer course as well as Englishspeaking classes.
Priority case for fast track court
On March 11, the fast track court had upheld the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Board’s decision, which declared Shukla a major at the time of the incident (May 2, 2005). The fast track court had taken the case on priority from the first date on January 28 and issued stern directives to the accused’s lawyer against making unnecessary delay and not turning up in the court on the given date.