Courts Update Gauhati HC directs Nagaon SP to monitor day-to-day probe...

Gauhati HC directs Nagaon SP to monitor day-to-day probe of 12-yr-old burnt to death by employers

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Guwahati, May 26 (ILNS) The Gauhati High Court has directed the Superintendent of Police, Nagaon, Assam to monitor the investigation on day-to-day basis of the case, where the petitioner’s 12-year-old daughter was burnt to death by her employers.

The petitioner alleged that her daughter, who was about 12 years, was burnt to death on April 22, 2021 by her employers, residents of Raha under Nagaon district, where she was working as a domestic help since the past about five years, in connection with which an FIR was lodged by the brother-in-law of the petitioner on the same day of incident.

A case was registered on April 22 at the Raha Police Station under Section 120(B)/302 IPC.

It was further alleged by the petitioner that her daughter was also sexually assaulted by her employers. According to the petitioner, the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights also had made similar allegation of the girl being sexually abused before she was killed.

A Chaudhary, Counsel appearing for the petitioner, stated that this incident has created a public furore and outcry, and various public organisations, including student organisations belonging to the community of the petitioner, have raised various demands for proper investigation of the case and also for adequate compensation of the victim’s family.

The petitioner apprehended that if the investigation was not properly carried out, the actual truth behind the unfortunate violent death of the young victim girl would never come to light and accordingly, being apprehensive that the investigation may not be properly carried out, the petitioner had approached the High Court for seeking a direction for the investigation to be undertaken by an independent agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the State Government or a Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by a Superintendent level officer.

A Single Bench of Justice N Kotiswar Singh said that since there is a very serious allegation against her employers of sexually abusing the girl child, which allegation has been reportedly made by the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, a statutory body to look into the welfare of children and for protection of their rights, the investigating authority will examine the said allegation made by the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and intimate this Court also of the investigate made in this regard and inform this Court accordingly on the next date.

The petitioner also made serious allegations about a disturbing illegal practice of employing small children as domestic help in many districts of Assam, including Nagaon, for which the Court opined that it can be considered after obtaining necessary information and inputs from appropriate authorities like the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR), the Assam State Legal Services Authority and such other organisations, which are looking after the welfare of children.

The Court, while considering the seriousness of the allegations made and without casting any aspersion on the ongoing investigation, directed the Superintendent of Police, Nagaon, to monitor the investigation of the case personally on day-to-day basis, before the High Court passes appropriate orders as regards the plea made by the petitioner in this petition after hearing the state.

The Bench also asked the state government to file it’s reply within two weeks.

“It has been also submitted by the Counsel for the petitioner that the petitioner perhaps has not yet approached any authority for grant of compensation, apart from the demands made by various organisations.

“In this regard, one may refer to the Victim’s Compensation Scheme framed by the State Government in this regard under Section 357A of the CrPC, which provides for grant of certain amount of compensation including interim compensation for which the petitioner may approach the appropriate District Legal Services Authority of Nagaon or West Karbi Anglong as the case may be, or the State Legal Services Authority for grant of compensation”, the order read. The Court has fixed the next date of hearing on June 11. ILNS/SHV/RJ

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