Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Court took suo motu cognizance of the incident reported in the newspaper pertaining to the rape of an old lady aged about 90 years and a petition was registered in public interest for the same. The particular case now stands concluded as the accused stood convicted by the trial court and the matter was pending in the appellate court.
However, the Court was now concerned with the broader issue in public interest that is, taking preventive steps for prohibiting the re-occurrence of such incident, the rehabilitation measures and other issues that may arise in such cases. To deal with this issue, the High Court took note of judgment rendered by Delhi High Court in the case of Delhi Commission for Women v. Delhi Police , 2010 (172) Delhi Law Times Page 65 and certain observations made by the Supreme Court in the case of Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum v. Union of India, (1995) 1 SCC 14 in which the State Government was directed to formulate certain policies and bring it on record. In this regard, a scheme titled ‘Usha Kiran Yojana’ was framed by the M.P. State Government taking into account the preventive as well as rehabilitation measures in rape cases.
At the same time, learned amicus curiae Senior Advocate Shri Anil Khare brought to the notice of the Court that there was a need to amend the scheme to avoid the practical difficulties in execution of rehabilitation, investigation and fast trial of rape cases. To this, Additional Advocate General responded with a suggestion that an appropriate committee consisting of experts, administrative officers including police officers can be constituted to look into various aspects of the matter.
The Division Bench found the suggestion by the Additional Advocate General worth taking into consideration and directed him to get in touch with the authorities of State Government including the police authorities and indicate to the Court the composition of the Committee to be constituted and various aspects of the matter. Addl. Advocate General would appear before the Court next week to seek further instructions with regard to constitution of the Committee. [In Reference (Suo Moto) v. State of Madhya Pradesh, WPs Nos. 18879-2014 decided on 31.01.2017]