National Conference leader, Justice (retired) Hasnain Masoodi, formerly Chairperson Juvenile Justice Panel, has demanded fast-track investigation and trial in the alleged Bandipore rape case.
While condemning the gruesome act, Justice Masoodi in a statement stated that Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Act 2018 and Criminal Law Amendment Act 2018 are well equipped to deal with such an offence.
“The law in force in Jammu and Kashmir provides an efficient mechanism for expeditious investigation and speedy trial. It excludes even remote chance of trauma or harassment to the victim during the trial while prescribing exemplary punishment to the person found guilty of sexual assault on a minor girl below 12 years,” the statement said.
Justice Masoodi said the law relating to protection of children from sexual violence does not require any amendment. “However, change is urgently needed in the mindset and approach of the investigating agency and also all the key actors who shall be associated with the trial of the accused once the charge sheet is filed before the court.”
Justice Masoodi expressed anguish over “slow” pace of investigation in the shocking incident. He said in a like case at Silker in Rajasthan, the investigation was completed in 4 days, the trial in 5 days and the culprit was sentenced to life imprisonment on 12 February 2019 within 10 days of the occurrence.
In another case in Madhya Pradesh, the trial was completed in 5 days and death sentence pronounced a few days after the occurrence, Masoodi said.
He said there is no reason for any delay in the investigation and submitting the results of the investigation before the court, and exemplary punishment to the person found guilty.
A three-year old girl was allegedly raped in Bandipora by her neighbour. Police has already arrested the accused. A SIT constituted by the police is investigating the matter.