Center Submit its Response Regarding ‘Threat Perception’ Before SC [CRPF Protection to Unnao Survivor’s Family & Lawyer]

Supreme Court Law Insider

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: 19 September 2022 at 18:27 IST

The State of Uttar Pradesh and the Union of India provided replies to a Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India on Friday about the “threat perception” in UP.

The hearing took place as part of the “perpetual mandamus” writ that was issued in 2019 after the Supreme Court made the decision to take Suo Moto notice of numerous reports on the rise in cases of child sexual assault. The Suo Moto writ petition (crl.) no. 1 of 2019 was headed “In Re Alarming Rise in the Number of Reported Child Rape Incidents.”

The Central Reserve Police Force has been given the “entire security aspect” of this case, according to Additional Advocate-General Garima Prashad, who appeared on behalf of the state of Uttar Pradesh. She made this statement in response to a 2019 Supreme Court ruling ordering the centre to provide security cover for the families of the Unnao rape survivor and her attorney.

However, the Additional Solicitor-General made it clear that there was no longer a need for “continued security” and that there was no longer any impression of a threat when addressing on behalf of the Union. The Justices Aniruddha Bose and Vikram Nath‘s panel decided to hear the matter again on Monday, September 19.

In order to provide directives to promote a coherent and coordinated national reaction against sexual assault crimes and avoid any delays in the resolution of such instances, the Supreme Court has on its own initiative taken cognizance of the rising number of cases of child sexual assault in 2019.

The POCSO Act, which established special procedures and courts for the swift disposition of cases under the Act, was passed in 2012, but the majority of these cases were still stuck in the trial stage, according to the bench, which was made up of Chief Justice Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose.

Further, in order to expedite the delivery of justice to children who have experienced sexual violence, the supreme court has issued a number of directives and guidelines since the time it took cognisance of the matter.

Additionally, it significantly broadened the scope to cover items like protection for survivors and witnesses of child sexual abuse as well as compensation for victims under the POCSO Act. The Supreme Court designated Senior Advocate V. Giri as an amicus curiae and asked him to offer his help in formulating the rules.

The Unnao rape case was tagged with this Suo Moto writ petition in July 2019, in an unexpected turn of events when the Supreme Court’s three-judge bench received a letter from the survivor. She requested the Chief Justice of India’s protection against intimidation and harassment in the letter. The Unnao survivor was critically hurt in a car accident that also seriously injured her lawyer and claimed the lives of her two aunts.

The proceedings were moved from the CBI Court in Lucknow to Delhi after the Supreme Court swiftly ordered an investigation into the vehicle accident. The Bench further ruled that security and protection be provided for the rape survivor and her family members, as well as interim compensation of Rs.25 lakh by the centre.

The Central Reserve Police Force has been providing security for the rape survivor’s family members as well as her attorney since August of this year.

Right away, Justice Bose asked about the impression of threat in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In response, AAG Garima Prashad said, “Your Lordship, in this matter, the entire security aspect was handed over to the CRPF. We will seek time, and the application may be submitted to us…”

However, it was argued on behalf of the Union of India that there was no longer a feeling of menace. The attorney informed the court that the Ministry of Home Affairs had received a report and would make a decision. As Justice Bose emphasised:

“This matter has a very bad chequered history. You have to be extra cautious. “

A different attorney informed the court that the wife and brother of the Unnao rape victim’s attorney had submitted an application seeking clarification of the instructions given because the CRPF officers were solely stationed at their residence. Justice Bose clarified:

“We want to give maximum protection, but we’ll have to see how the system can provide it. We have to take assistance from the Ministry.”

A different lawyer said that a person who was protected by the CRPF was abusing his status by taking part in unlawful activities and contesting panchayat elections in Unnao. Then, Justice Bose explained that, “Right now we will concentrate on the report by the Ministry of Home Affairs on security to the lawyers. We cannot micromanage…”

The Union’s submission was made by ASG Aishwarya Bhati.

“Permit me to place the status report on record. There are some changes we want to make. We do not want to continue security for all…This was in 2018, now in 2022, what is the threat perception?”

Additionally, Justice Bose declined to accept requests for orders allowing judicial officers to be appointed as judges in Fast Track Courts. Justice Bose clarified the situation.

“Enough of this perpetual mandamus. There is no dearth of cases. There are courts hearing similar matters. We will only deal with horrific incidents and immediate offshoots of that. The posting of judges, the appointment of public prosecutors, all this we cannot deal with. “

The bench agreed to revisit the case for hearing on September 19, 2022, on that day.

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