“Are you a peon who just files the case and forgets about it?” Court tells AOR, threatens contempt
The Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta on Tuesday (March 27) came down heavily on the Advocate on Record who had filed the reply for West Bengal regarding how much money from the Nirbhaya Fund has been disbursed to the victims of sexual assault in the state.
Justice Gupta said that the offences given the West Bengal affidavit are totally wrong. The bench said five pages is given for appearances “and when we call out the counsel, no one comes. You just wanted to get your fees,” he told the AOR. The judge said that the AOR just signed and then forgot the case and “we already said that the AOR is liable for contempt.”
Senior counsel Indira Jaising said: “How can it be possible that the state government doesn’t know the offences?”
Bench categorically told the AOR who filed the affidavit: “You can be prosecuted under IPC and contempt of court. Are you a peon who just files the case and forgets about it?”
The AOR filed the affidavit in which the name and address of the victims were mentioned.
Bench directed to call those deponents whose names are in affidavit.
Indira Jaising said the data which is submitted is not enough. Under Nirbhaya scheme, a maximum of Rs 3 lakhs can be given. Jaising submitted a chart related to this. She contended that the figures seem to be low. We have to examine how many FIRs are lodged under these offences. And there must be a difference between rape and murder because both cannot be clubbed.
The bench directed Jaising to file the chart so that all the states can easily go through that.
The bench gave two weeks time to file the chart.
The matter will be listed after 2 weeks.
At the last date of filing, on February 15, it was found that despite all talks, discussions and intents expressed about gender justice and safety of women, there were 24 States and Union Territories that had not even bothered to file an affidavit. The bench had said: “On January 9 we had required all the state governments, UTs to file affidavits within a period of four weeks indicating the amount received by each state government / UT under the Nirbhaya Fund towards victim compensation.
—India Legal Bureau