New Delhi [India], October 10 (ANI): Expressing serious displeasure over "the extremely lethargic" attitude of Odisha administration to deal with sexual assault case of a minor girl in June 2016, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed Superintendent of Police Balasore to submit an up-to-date investigation report in the matter.
The NHRC had recently noted that proper application shall be filed by appropriate authorities immediately before the concerned court under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2020 for compensation.
The apex human rights panel had also asked SP Balasore to pursue the application before the District Legal Service Authority for compensation under the victim compensation scheme, saying it is surprising that the application was moved three years back but compensation has not been disbursed till date.
Radhakanta Tripathy, Supreme Court advocate and activist-lawyer, had filed a petition before the NHRC in 2016 citing the lethargic attitude of the Balasore Police.
The plea had mentioned that the culprits abducted 11-year-old girl asking her to identify a house when she was playing with her friends. The family members began a search as the girl didn't return home by evening and was rescued from near the national highway over-bridge near her village in a critical condition and was admitted her to the hospital.
"The incident occurred in Talanagar village under the limits of Soro police station. Proper medical treatment could not be provided to the victim. No compensation and rehabilitation with psycho-social counselling has been done for the victim. This is a classic case of failure of police and officials from Women and Child Development," Tripathy alleged.
The NHRC had, in its order dated May 22, 2019, had directed the Director-General of Police, Odisha, to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate this case and to submit a report within six weeks.
However, the Balasore Police, in its report, stated that though sketch of the accused have been prepared, they could not be traced yet and the investigation is under progress. Pursuant to the direction of the Commission, the Collector, had submitted that the police had taken steps to apprehend the accused but could not arrest him.
"The police have already filed a necessary application before DLSA, Balasore for rendering legal assistance and grant of victim compensation to the victim girl who is currently living with her parents," Tripathy had said.
The Commission was surprised to note that case was more than four years old. However, neither investigation has been completed nor compensation has been paid to the victim.
Any delay in granting the compensation under the POCSO Act or victim compensation scheme under Section 357-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) would definitely defeat the purpose of granting such compensation as prescribed, the NHRC had stated in its order. (ANI)