The Supreme Court Friday took note, on its own, of the alarming rise in the number of rape incidents against children and said it will pass directions to ensure a “concerted” and “clear” national response against such acts.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it has decided to take “suo motu” (on its own) cognisance of various reports of newspapers and portals on rising incidents of child rape.
The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, appointed senior advocate V Giri as amicus curiae (friend of the court) and asked him to assist it in framing guidelines on the kind of directions that can be issued to states on infrastructure and video-recording of the proceedings.
It made clear that no third party except Giri and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta would be allowed to intervene in the matter saying that otherwise nothing can happen in such a matter.
The bench directed the apex court registry to register the case as a writ petition titled as “In-re Alarming Rise in The Number of Reported Child Rape Incidents” and posted it Monday for issuance of directions.
The bench said it had asked the Registry to file a report on two aspects such as the total number of rape cases involving child registered across India since January 1 and the stage of investigation and the time taken to file a charge sheet as also the status of trials.
It had asked the Registry to collect details from all the states and high courts.
Referring to the data on sexual crimes against children, it said that from January 1 to June 30 this year, 24,212 FIRs have been filed across India.
Out of over 24,000 cases, 11,981 are still being probed by the police and in 12,231 cases, police have filed the charge sheet, it said.
Trials have commenced in 6,449 cases only, it said, adding that they are yet to commence in 4,871 cases. Till now, the trial courts have decided only 911 cases, about 4 per cent of the total cases registered, it said.