NEW DELHI: In the case of United Sikhs v. Commissioner of Police, Delhi Police & Ors, The Delhi High Court gives permission to an NGO called ‘United Sikhs’ to meet with a Sikh woman who was brutally gang-raped in January in East Delhi’s Shahdara area in January 2022.
The bench headed by Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta warned that political color should not be given to the incident, nor should any religious reflection be added out of context, to avoid any kind of Controversy.
In its order, it is said that – “Since, at present,a there is no restriction in meeting of any individual or organisation with the victim for rendering any assistance as per stand of the respondents, the petitioner through representatives is at liberty to meet or interact with victim “P‟ in accordance with the law.”
Further, the Court said, – “A meeting generally cannot be denied for providing necessary legal aid and assistance, if so required by the victim, to ensure delivery of justice and fair trial but the caution remains that such meetings are not used inappropriately for creating any ‘law and order situation or arousing the emotions of a particular community in an adverse manner, thereby disturbing the public tranquillity or likely to cause a breach of peace,” the Court said.
The Court thus allowed the NGO to meet with the 21-year-old victim, who was gang-raped, whilst simultaneously being beaten up by the accused’s family members.
“Wherein a victim is unable to engage a lawyer, secure legal services on account of indigence or poverty or incommunicado situation, the State under such situation is mandated to provide appropriate legal aid even to the victims, if the circumstances so warrant and ensure justice,” the Court added.
Finally, the Court directed that a copy of this order be forwarded to the Police Commissioner, the trial court, and the DSLSA for ensuring time-bound disposal of the case registered at Vivek Vihar, Delhi with requisite legal assistance rendered to the victim, in accordance with the law.
The plea had contended that the UN-affiliated NGO’s representatives were not being allowed to meet and interact with the victim as the entire area in the vicinity of her parent’s home was cordoned off by the police.
A prayer was also sought for general directions to allow NGOs to meet and interact with the families of victims of offences against women, religious minorities, and underprivileged people for the purposes of providing legal aid and assistance for proper police investigation.
On this prayer, the Court observed that it may not be appropriate to pass general directions to the respondents, since it had already been submitted on record by the State’s Additional Standing Counsel that there was no such restraint or restriction for meeting the victims in the present case.
Advocates Satinder Singh Gulati and Kamaldeep Gulati appeared for United Sikhs. Meanwhile, ASC Rupali Bandhopadhyay and Advocate B Badrinath appeared for the respondents including Delhi Police and DSLSA respectively.
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