Rajasthan High Court

Rajasthan High Court: While deciding a matter against a Judicial Magistrate who was allegedly accused of asking a Rape survivor to strip and show her injuries, a single-judge bench comprising of Anil Kumar Upman, J., stayed coercive action against the accused judicial magistrate until 27-05-2024.

In the instant matter, on 20-03-2024 around 10 am, a Dalit gang-rape survivor visited the office of Judicial Magistrate Ravindra Kumar to provide her statement regarding the rape case. After recording her statement, as she was leaving, the magistrate purportedly called her back and allegedly asked her to strip to show her injuries. The survivor refused, stating discomfort in removing her clothes in front of a male magistrate.

The survivor filed a complaint against the magistrate on 30-03-2024, alleging wrongful confinement under Section 345 of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and violations of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. An FIR was lodged against the magistrate under Sections 354(A) and 354(B) of the IPC and Sections 3(1)(w), 3(2)(va), and 3(2)(vii) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The Court acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations but emphasised the need for a fair investigation and the protection of the judiciary’s image. The Court refrained from making comments on the freedom of the press but underscored the need for responsible reporting to prevent prejudice against the judiciary. The Court noted that media coverage should be regulated to prevent undue influence on public perception.

The Court stayed coercive action against Judicial Magistrate until May 27-05-2024 and directed electronic and print media to refrain from sensationalizing the issue. The Court issued notices to the State Government, Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, DGP, SP Karauli, and the victim seeking their response. The matter is scheduled for further hearing on 27-05-2024.

Source: Press

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