October 30, 2011



Supreme court rules, no corroboration required in rape cases

The Supreme Court has ruled that in rape cases there was no need for corroboration and conviction can be imposed on the sole statement of the victim as her testimony cannot be looked at with suspicion.

"It is a trite law that a woman, who is the victim of sexual assault, is not an accomplice to the crime but is a victim of another person's lust. The prosecutrix stands at a higher pedestal than an injured witness as she suffers from emotional injury. Therefore, her evidence need not be tested with the same amount of suspicion as that of an accomplice. The Indian Evidence Act nowhere says that her evidence cannot be accepted unless it is corroborated in material particulars," the apex court said.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan passed the ruling while dismissing an appeal filed by Mohd Imran Khan and Jamal Ahmed challenging their conviction for rape of a minor girl about 22 years ago. The defence had argued the victim's statement cannot be relied upon as she had eloped with the accused.


Hindustan Times

Rape victim's sexual history not relevant

n a significant move, the state government has directed government doctors who conduct medical examinations of rape victims to do away with the practice of noting whether the victim is habituated to sexual intercourse. The move is aimed at extending sensitive treatment to victims of rape and sexual assault and will be reflected in the manual referred to by doctors while examining victims.

An eight-member state-appointed committee headed by Dr SD Nanandkar, head of forensic medicine department, JJ Hospital, revised the manual after considering suggestions given by the non-governmental organisation, Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT). The directive is part of other modifications to the manual finalised at meetings held by the committee. The committee also provided a detailed chart on why they did not accept some of the suggestions.

The committee was appointed by the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) on directions passed by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court in a public interest litigation filed by advocate Vijay Patiat and social worker, Dr Ranjana Pardhi.
The revised manual states, "It has been observed that most examining doctors write their opinion in their medico-legal report to the effect that she [the victim] is habituated to sexual intercourse [or not]. It must be remembered that this opinion has no relevance at all whatsoever to the offence."

The committee cited a 2005 judgment of the Supreme Court in relation to a case from Uttar Pradesh where the court stated that the victim being "accustomed to sexual intercourse is not a determinative question. Even if it is hypothetically accepted that victim has lost virginity earlier, it need not and cannot in law, give licence to any person to rape her." A few more procedural aspects related to age determination of the victim, among others have been added.

Maharashtra is the first state in the country to make forensic examination of sexual assault victims more victim-friendly. Apart from the sensitising doctors conducting the procedure, the committee has drawn seven detailed proformas and formats to be followed by medical officers examining the victim and the accused.



9,000 minor MP girls go missing in 20 months

Minor girls trafficking has scourged Madhya Pradesh. Isolated recoveries of abducted or trafficked girls in Mandsaur, Mandla, Dindori or Balaghat districts in recent months don’t give a real picture of the enormity of the human trafficking.

But the number of missing girls put together from across the state since January 2010 to August 2011 is indeed alarming: over 9000. Of these missing girls, 4,000 are yet to be traced, police records said.

This is despite the state anti-trafficking cell constituted last year, following rescue of over 50 girls from the brothels of Banchda tribes along roads in Mandsaur.
“Out of the 57 girls rescued from the Banchhra, 24 were reported missing in police stations,” said GK Pathak, SP Mandsaur, who busted the flesh trade rackets. The other girls who were rescued were not reported missing as they were abducted at a very young age and are now grown ups and, therefore, it is difficult to trace them, Pathak said.

The anti-human trafficking cell has registered 46 cases of missing girls this year and rescued 85 minors.

“Of the rescued 85 girls, 75 were reported missing in various police stations. The remaining were brought by the traffickers by fooling their parents”, said Aruna Mohan Roy, IG, anti-trafficking cell.

During January 2010 to August 2011, 6022 boys too went missing and 1,937 of them are untraceable. However, the anti-trafficking cell’s main worry is missing girls.



Lack of chemicals for DNA tests delays KURLA RAPES PROBE

Hundreds Of Samples Sent To Forensic Lab Since January Not Studied Because Of Dearth Of Supplies Or Work Backlog

More than a year after three young girls were brutally raped and murdered in Nehru Nagar,two of the cases are yet to be solved.The police say their probe is stuck because the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina has not studied for months the hundreds of DNA samples of suspects they sentostensibly due to a scarcity of chemicals required for DNA profiling.

Between January and September this year,the additional police commissioners (east region) office sent 12 letters to the forensic laboratory seeking status reports on the DNA samples.On all occasions they got no reply.The only response we received from the FSL director said that the delay is due to a shortage of funds to buy the chemicals required to carry out the tests, said additional police commissioner Quaiser Khalid.The delay will give an edge to the perpetrator.It might even allow him to escape.

Since their investigation began,the police have delivered 915 DNA samples to FSL but received profile reports of only 623,the last of which came in January.The remaining 292 are yet to be tested.Even now,the local police and the crime branch send two or three DNA samples related to the Nehru Nagar murder cases a week for profiling.
Investigators said that DNA samples are being collected and sent for profiling to compare them with those found at the murder spots.The DNA samples discovered on two raped and murdered girlsfive-year-old Sania Siddique and seven-yearold Anjali Jaiswalbelong to the same person, said a police officer.After we arrested Javed Shaikh for the murder and rape of nine-year-old Nushrat Shaikh in June last year,we were able to prove his crime beyond doubt because his DNA samples matched with those collected from the victims body.

An FSL official explained that a scarcity of required chemicals halted all DNA profiling at the lab between January and May.By the time it resumed in June there was such a backlog that other cases took precedence and Nehru Nagar samples took a backseat.

Incidentally,it was the testing for the Nehru Nagar cases that indirectly caused the scarcity of chemicals.The laboratory,another source said,had rarely witnessed a manhunt of the magnitude prompted by Nehru Nagar killings,which required testing of hundreds of DNA samples.Owing to the deluge of samples last year and the urgency to test them,the laboratory actually ran out of DNA testing kits.One DNA kit can test up to 100 samples, said the source.

Even when there were no lab kits,the laboratory was still under immense pressure from the public and the state home ministry to continue checking samples.
The laboratory ended up making private purchases without tendering for want of time, said another source.When the bills for the out-ofturn purchase were sent to Mantralaya,the administration questioned why the tendering process was not followed.

This led to a delay in getting funds sanctioned to purchase test kits and other supplies such as chemicals,which in turn held up DNA profiling between January and May.DNA kits used by the FSL are manufactured by a US-based company and provided by local suppliers.

Cops draw up data on migrants in area

Mumbai: The Nehru Nagar police have been regularly collecting data of migrants staying in the locality to solve the two pending cases of rape and murder of minor girls that occurred in February and March last year.Over 10,000 people were screened since the incident occurred,though there has been no breakthrough.

Since the incidents,officials have been preparing charts of those who lived in Nehru Nagar at various points of time,hailing from across the country Karnataka,Bihar,New Delhi,Rajasthan and other states.Additional commissioner of police (east region) Quaiser Khalid,said collecting and maintaining data of migrants is an ongoing process.This makes it easier to locate and track down anyone involved in any crime even in future, Khalid said.He added the police have not stopped the data collection process.Incidentally,the Mumbai crime branch team is also keeping track of the case.
However,for three months after the police probe started,the smallscale footwear manufacturing and zari units suffered maximum losses due to shortage of labourers.Many migrants left as they were unable to work after the incident.They were picked up by the police for questioning,which scared them away, said Moosa Bhai,secretary of Shri Sai Shraddha Cooperative Society,where the first victim Sania Siddiques (6) body was found in February.

It was impossible for me to work for three months.I would get calls from police investigating the case and they would ask me to rush to different locations.Similarly,others residing in the locality were picked up at any time and later let go, Sanias father Sikander told TOI.

The other victims parents said they were satisfied with the way the police have made efforts day and night to track down the accused.

Families accept 1L state compensation

Mumbai: Following much persuasion from friends and neighbours,the families of the three girls murdered in Nehru Nagar last year have decided to accept the Rs1-lakh compensation offered by the state.

More than a month ago,the families had rejected the cheque proffered by the state home department on emotional grounds despite their limited resources.They changed their mind after well-wishers convinced them that the money could be used to clear the mounds of debt they accumulated in the wake of the killings.

The money will not bring back our child.We would not have accepted the money.However,looking at my familys condition and after repeated persuasion,I decided to take it to clear the debts I amassed while not working for a month after the incident, said Hrishikesh Jaiswal.His nine-year-old daughter Anjali was found dead in March last year on the terrace of the police quarters close to Nehru Nagar police station a day after she went missing.

Anjalis murder came almost a month after that of Sania Siddique.The six-year-olds body was found in a sack on the steps of a seven-storey building in Kurla (East).Her father Sikander told TOI that it was the local MLAs office that informed the three victims families about the compensation.My wife explained to me why we should take the money,though it cannot give us our child back.

Sikander said that he and his wife still dream of their child.I shifted to a new house a short distance away from the old one a year after the incident.I will use the money to clear the dues of Rs 30,000 I incurred while staying jobless for about three months, he said.

The parents of the third murder victim,nine-year-old Nushrat Shaikh,said they have still not come to terms with their daughters death.No parent can forget the loss of his or her child, said Shaikhs father.



June 6,2010 |

Nine-year-old Nushrat Shaikh was playing outside her house at Shramik Nagar in Kurla (East) when Javed Shaikh,19,lured her away by offering sweets and toys.The teenager took Nushrat to a locked house in Vatsalatai,entered it through a small opening in the roof and then strangled her as she screamed.Javed then raped the child.During interrogation,Javed said he committed the crime after watching pornography on the internet.He is currently in jail

March 6,2010 |

The body of nine-year-old Anjali Jaiswal was found on the terrace of the police quarters close to Nehru Nagar police station a day after she went missing while playing outside her house.The girls corpse was spotted around 9.30am by a policemans child staying in the building.An autopsy later showed the girl had been raped before being killed.There has been no breakthrough in the case

February 7,2010 |

Six-year-old Sania Siddique went missing on the night of February 6 when she stepped out to play with her friends at Vatsalatai Nagar in Kurla (East).The next day,her body was found in a sack on the steps of a seven-storey building in Sri Sai Shradha Cooperative Housing Society.Tests later revealed that the perpetrator first raped and then killed the child.The case is yet to be solved

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