Jan 20, 2016 – Shahab Ansari | mumbai
The trials in the 2013 gang rape cases in Central Mumbai’s deserted Shakti Mills compound could be one of the most successful as the prosecution not only managed to prove guilt of all the arrested accused, but also secured death sentence under a newly-amended law for three convicts. However, one issue related to the cases may return to haunt the investigating agency because the ‘Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights’ had directed the government a year ago to form an SIT to see if the police violated the rights of minor accused in the case, but so far there is no clarity if the directions were followed.
“It is established that the investigating officer and magistrate both have failed to perform their duty by not following the procedure as envisaged under the law,” said A.N. Tripathi, secretary, Maharashtra state commission for protection of child rights in his order (copy of which is with The Asian Age), adding that the action of the police in the matter was suspicious and needed to be investigated by another independent agency.
“The state government is directed to issue order to investigate the matter by SIT consisting the officers from police, Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and Child Welfare Committee (sic),” directed the commission in an order passed on September 2, 2014.
Ironically, though the order was passed in 2014, complainant advocate Beena Tendulkar former member of JJB, Mumbai on whose written complaint the commission had passed the direction was not aware of this order till January 1, this year.