The Supreme Court on Friday took suo motu cognisance of the gang rape of a young tribal woman in West Bengal’s Birbhum district and directed the District judge to file a report to the court within a week.

The three-judge Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and M.Y. Eqbal directed the matter to be listed for further hearing on January 31.

On January 20, the 20-year-old woman was gang-raped by 13 men on the orders of the Subalpur village court as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. She is now recovering in hospital. According to the police, her male companion was tied up in the village square, while she was assaulted in a mud house.

The village ‘court’ allegedly ordered the assault after the woman was unable to pay the ‘fine’ it demanded as punishment for her relationship with the man.