Not satisfied with the Birbhum district judge’s report on the gang-rape incident, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the West Bengal Chief Secretary to submit a detailed report on the follow-up action by the police.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and M.Y. Eqbal had taken suo motu cognisance of the gang-rape of a 20-year-old tribal woman by 13 villagers in Birbhum district on January 20 and sought a report from the district judge.
The woman was raped for having a relationship with a man from a different community. According to the police, her male companion was tied up in the village square while the assault on the woman happened in a mud house.
The village ‘court’ allegedly ordered the assault after the woman was unable to pay a ‘fine’ it demanded as punishment for her relationship with the man.
During the resumed hearing on Friday, the Bench went through the report and in a brief order said: “Pursuant to our direction dated January 24, the district judge, Birbhum district, West Bengal, along with Chief Judicial Magistrate and a team inspected the place in question and submitted a report to this court. In the report, we do not find any information about the steps taken by the police against the persons concerned. Accordingly, we direct the Registrar of this court to forward a copy of the report of the district judge, Birbhum, to the Chief Secretary, West Bengal, who in turn should submit a detailed report and the follow up action by the police concerned to this court within a period of two weeks.”