The Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Police to file its status report in a plea seeking judicial inquiry and the constitution of a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) filed by the parents of a nine-year-old girl child who was allegedly gang-raped, murdered and her body forcibly cremated by her attackers, including a priest.
The single-judge bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna has directed the Delhi Police to continue with the security provided to the petitioners.
It comes after the Delhi High Court was informed by Delhi Police that they are giving round-the-clock security to the parents and has also constituted an SIT comprising of 5 officers, including 2 ACPs, to probe the case. The court posted the matter to November 8, seeking a status report from the police to ascertain the stage of the investigation. The Court said the investigation is at a very initial stage and no orders are called at this stage.
Advocate Jitendra Kumar Jha, appearing for the petitioners, informed the court that when petitioner 1 reached the crematorium, the body of her deceased daughter was lying on a table, with cut marks on her hand, blood from her nose and blackened lips. The accused persons pressured the parents of the deceased to settle the matter.
Jha further informed the court that the matter was reported to the police at about 5:30 pm, but they only reached the crime scene at 11:30 pm. The police in a way arrested the petitioners, they were kept at the police station till the next morning, where the police pressured the petitioners to settle the matter. They registered an FIR only the next morning after the petitioners’ refusal to settle. Jha claimed two of the accused had confessed to rape and murder.
Sanjay Lao, Standing Counsel, Government of NCT of Delhi, submitted before the court that the case had been transferred from the local police to the crime branch and a SIT has been constituted, consisting of ACP Sandeep Lamba, ACP Yashpal Singh, Inspector Neeraj, Sub-Inspector Anuj and Sub-Inspector Aasha and the SIT is being monitored by DCP and Joint Commissioner, Crime Branch, Delhi Police. Lao submitted that round-the-clock security is being provided to the petitioners.
Lao informed the court that for the two accused who have confessed, Section 302 of Indian Penal Code , Section 376 of IPC, Section 3 of SC/ST Act and Section 6 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act have been added to the FIR.
Filed by Advocates Jitendra Kumar Jha, Sarsij Nayanam and Suresh Kumar, the plea prays for a judicial inquiry pertaining to lapses in the administrative action in the matter; and directions for providing adequate safety and security to the parents of girl as well as to other witnesses of the alleged incident.
The petition states, on August 1, 2021, a nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by the priest of a crematorium and three others in the Delhi Cantonment area. The girl was playing near a local Mazar, when she went to fetch water from a water cooler situated in a nearby Crematorium. The petitioner 1 reached the crematorium looking for her daughter,when the accused persons informed that her daughter died of electrocution.
According to the petitioner, the accused persons prevented the petitioner from touching the body of her deceased daughter. It was further stated petitioner’s deceased daughter had injuries on her hand and her nose was bleeding.
The plea alleges that the accused persons offered Rs 20,000 to the mother of the girl for not reporting the incident and inferred that if the petitioners reported the matter to Police, the doctors would take out the vital organs of her deceased daughter. The accused persons also warned the petitioners that they might not be able to fight the case due to their poverty.
The petition further states that, upon the refusal of the petitioner to adhere to the ploy of the accused persons, the accused persons threw the body of the petitioner’s deceased daughter in a burning pyre. Upon a heart wrenching cry of the petitioners, a crowd gathered and put water in the pyre, allowing recovery of some remains of the deceased
Claiming a lacuna in the administrative action, the plea states that the police tried to sabotage the incident and pressurized the parents of the girl to compromise the case. Furthermore, the FIR was registered the next day and the crime scene had been left unattended, compromising it.