NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK
Citations: 2008 (1) JKJ 161
Painful reports at the given time regarding inducement, and blackmail of teen-aged girls to lure and coerce them into immoral physical submission had appeared in press in Jammu and Kashmir. What makes the reports alarming were allegations that some persons highly placed in different spheres are directly involved therein.
‘Pushing innocent minor girls in flesh trade is an extremely treacherous act and if constitutionally acknowledged social and moral commitments mean anything, the traders of this treachery have to be brought to account, irrespective of their placement and position, for which this Court perhaps cannot avoid indulgence, particularly while cases registered in the matter weeks back are reportedly lying without any headway in the investigation.’
Few days after the suo motu action of the Jammu High Court, the High Court Bar Association, also instituted writ petition OWP No. 300/06, and pleading that sexual exploitation of girls including minors has been going on in the city at large scale since long with active patronage of influential people, sought indulgence for having the matter dealt with under law.
Observations of the Court:
I. The girls whose involvement in the case had been mentioned during statements on record, but declared untraced by the CBI. Court stressed that “it becomes very important to know what happened to them. If they are living they should be available and need to be traced. Otherwise the matter may assume serious dimensions.”
II. In this case interrogation of some important witnesses has not been done and some witnesses had not been interrogated in desirable manner, therefore much is left to come out. Statements of an accused woman had been recorded in five parts coming to an abrupt end. Thus, the wider contours of the case had not come to open.
III. As per the interrogation report most of girls involved in this case are drug addicts suggesting some sort of nexus between sex racketing and drug trafficking, making the whole thing a mix of humiliation, torture and treachery. But this angle appears to have escaped the attention of investigators with the result that an essential component of the occurrence has remained unattended.
Conclusion and order of the Court:
(a) The CBI should place all records/evidence/materials available regarding the then SSPs, DIG; the then MLAs and former minister; and the sitting cabinet minister; one doctor and some other persons before CJM, Srinagar, within six weeks from the date of order now; alongwith a detailed report thereupon, who shall examine the same for considering taking cognizance of the offences as may appear to be made out whatever against them under appropriate provisions of law, or for passing such orders as appear to him to be proper and lawful.
(b) The CBI should conduct further, speedy and focused investigation in cases of former Chairman of JK Bank, the then Vigilance Commissioner, & other influential perosns.
(c) The CBI should also conduct fresh investigation in respect of those persons against whom no action has been taken due to reportedly insufficient materials.
(d) They shall also establish the identity of the “Gora-Chitta commissioner” mentioned hereinabove, and conduct further lawful interrogation of the main woman accused, the then Dy. S.P, and other victims the councilor Manju mentioned hereinbefore.
(e) Status report by CBI should be filed.
(f) The DGP of J & K shall form a Special team of police officers with reputed integrity to be headed by a DIG for exclusively dealing with the cases of illicit sex traffic and drug trade in whatever form; and cases relating to drug abuse.
(g) He shall also immediately provide security to all persons named in this order, especially the girls.
(h) Suitable police action as per law should be initiated against hotels named in the statements and in challans.
(i) The Govt. shall undertake a rehabilitation programme for all girls/women involved or dragged into sex trade, through Department of Social Welfare and Women’s Development Board.
The CBI could on its own reinvestigate the case and do test identification as per the orders of the Court.