Monday, November 29, 1999

HC directs police to ensure safety of girl

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New Delhi, Jun 18 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today directed the police to ensure the safety of a 17-year-old girl who is pregnant following an affair with a neighbour here, a day after Delhi Legal Aid Authority had expressed the fear that she faces threat from her parents. Justice S N Dhingra asked the police to ensure that nothing untoward happens to the girl who now wants to go to her mother residing in Uttar Pradesh. "So long as she is living at the present address, the investigating officer shall visit the house of the girl once a day and ensure her safety and also to see to it that nothing untoward happens to her. If she desires, police shall provide her escort up to her real mother''s village where she intends to go," the court said. The girl and her boyfriend, who is under the judicial custody after a case was registered with the police alleging rape by her parents, were produced before the court. The minor girl, present in the court with her step-mother, however, denied she wanted to marry the accused. The court, which also heard the parties including the girl in chamber, noted it was a case of love-affair and directed the police to escort her to Siddharthnagar in Uttar Pradesh to her real mother if and when she wanted to. "It seems to be more a case of love affairs between two young persons instead of a case of rape. The boy was living just opposite the house of the girl. He had come from Rajasthan about three months ago. The girl also came to Delhi only recently," the court said. It asked accused Ravi Soni to move an appropriate bail application in the matter. During the proceedings, the court decided to record the statement of the girl in chamber after the Delhi High Court Legal Services Aid Authority counsel Kiran Singh submitted that the girl was scared to speak in front her step mother. The counsel had filed the petition alleging the boy was sent to jail for eloping with a girl on a complaint by her parents alleging she has been raped. The court, after hearing the arguments, had pulled up the police for its role in the case and directed it to produce the couple before it to decide their fate. The parents of the girl had lodged a case with Uttam Nagar police station here on March 21. The Legal Aid Authority, however, had submitted a report in the matter stating that girl feared for her life.

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