Calcutta High Court: The Division Bench of Ananya Bandyopadhyay and Joymalya Bagchi, JJ. rejected a bail application in the matter of trafficking.
The Court perused the report which stated that victims of trafficking were given psychological counseling on 14-06-2022. Request had been made for grant of interim compensation as per law. Steps were taken for extending necessary protection to the said witnesses.
Prima facie material showed prostitution was carried out in the premises owned by the petitioner. Senior Advocate contended that property had been let out to another person.
The Court was of the view that such defence requires to be considered in the course of trial. However, keeping in mind the nature of the offence which has far reaching and adverse social impact and as the vulnerable victims were yet to be examined, it is not prudent to release the petitioner on bail at present. The Court displayed its anguish over the indifferent manner in which cases involving sex trafficking of minor girls were being conducted. The Court opined that cases require to be investigated by a specialised agency manned by police personnel who are duly sensitised in the matter. Victims in such cases are either women or minor coming from weak and marginal sections of society. They require proper protection, support and assistance including psychological counselling.
The Court directed the Director General of Police, West Bengal to take necessary steps so that cases involving trafficking of women particularly minors for sexual exploitation are transferred to the Anti Human Trafficking Unit and investigate by specialised officers preferably lady officers. Steps be taken during investigation to extend protection and support in the form of support person, counseling and interim compensation as per law to such victims.
[Ved Prakash Arya v. State of West Bengal, 2022 SCC OnLine Cal 1725, decided on 15-06-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr Sekhar Kr. Basu, Sr. Adv., Mr Debasish Roy, Mr Antarikhya Basu, Mr Sayan Mukherjee, Ms Madhumita Basak, Advocates, for the petitioner;
Mr Saswata Gopal Mukherjee, P.P., Mr Madhusudan Sur, A.P.P., Mr Dipankar Paramanick, Advocates, for the State.
*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant ha reported this brief.