HC asks Delhi govt to give data on sexual assault cases of minor, adults

The Delhi High Court has directed the state government to give the number and stage of trial of sexual assault cases relating to minors and adults.

A bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Girish Kathpalia also asked the authorities to indicate the location of One Stop Centres (OSC), the facilities provided and manpower deployed in each OSC, and the job supposed to be performed by the personnel deployed there.

OSCs are constituted to provide support to women affected by violence within family, community, and workplace.

The high court asked the Delhi government to file a fresh affidavit giving the actual position on the number of complaints received on sexual assault those that were converted into FIRs under the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

The data must also include the number of cases in which charge sheets have been filed, which are undergoing trial, and which are at the stage of oral arguments, it said.

“The information with regard to the above will be given separately for adults and children,” the bench made clear.

When the counsel for Delhi government, Udit Malik, submitted that counsellors have been appointed in the OSCs, the court said it is not clear as to what their qualifications are and whether any psychologists and psychiatrists have been appointed to deal with sexual assault cases.

The number of counsellors deployed at each of the OSCs must also be indicated in the affidavit, the bench said.

The court was hearing two separate petitions by Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Delhi Citizen Forum for Civil Rights relating to a scheme under which compensation is supposed to be paid to the minor victims of sexual assault.

The court also perused a previous affidavit filed by the Forensic Science Laboratory, or FSL, which made a reference to a proposal for creation of 112 technical posts.

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The bench said it appeared that the technical posts were created for cyber forensics and added that there was no clarity whether there are adequate number of forensic experts with biological aspects as their mainstay.

“We would want information to be placed before us with regard to both sets of forensic experts. The affidavit will also indicate as to how many posts have been created and personnel deployed since the affidavit dated December 5, 2019 was filed in this court,” it said.

The court also made it clear that the affidavit will be filed by the person or departments who are in charge and have dealt with each of these issues.

If necessary, more than one affidavit can be filed for a granular view of the matter, it said.

The bench appointed advocate Aparna Bhat as a Local Commissioner in the matter and asked her to visit OSCs and file a report with the court.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on December 14.

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