New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today stayed the proceedings against Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal in a case of allegedly disclosing the identity of a 14-year-old Dalit rape victim who had succumbed to injuries.
Justice Ashutosh Kumar granted the interim relief to Maliwal who was summoned by the trial court to appear before it on October 23 in the case.
The court asked the Delhi Police, represented through standing counsel Richa Kapoor, to file a status report in the matter and listed it for hearing on December 19.
Senior advocate R S Cheema, appearing for the DCW, said that the commission had earlier issued notice to the police asking reasons for not arresting the accused and the botched probe in the matter after which the accused was arrested.
“However, exhibiting an instance of flagrant abuse of power, the police lodged an FIR under the IPC against the DCW chairperson on frivolous allegations that under authority of the chairperson, its functionaries had sent the copy of the notice of July 22, 2016 on a WhatsApp group of DCW and media persons, thereby revealing the name of the victim,” he argued.
The police had earlier told the high court that they have invoked provisions of Juvenile Justice Act against Maliwal.
It had said that it has dropped the charge of disclosure of identity of the victim against Maliwal under the IPC but the case under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act still stands.
It said that the victim’s parents had stated that they had given consent to disclose the name of their daughter after which the IPC provision was dropped. It, however, said that making public the name of a rape victim is an offence.
The DCW counsel had sought a court-monitored probe in the matter, saying the minor had died after the incident but the police have still not invoked murder charge in the FIR.
A charge sheet was earlier filed in the trial court after which Maliwal was summoned.
The court was hearing a plea by the DCW for quashing the FIR lodged against its chief for allegedly revealing the identity of the minor rape victim.
The court had questioned the DCW counsel as to how the commission could move the court for quashing of the FIR lodged against its chief.
The minor girl had died in a hospital after a neighbour had allegedly repeatedly raped her in north Delhi’s Burari area on July 23 last year and forced a corrosive substance down her throat which damaged her internal organs.
The police had said Maliwal circulated a notice she had sent to the area deputy commissioner of police, in which she had sought to know about the investigation in the rape case.
The notice, which was given to the print and electronic media, had the name of the victim.
The FIR has alleged that the notice was “intentionally circulated” on various WhatsApp groups and shown by TV channels. A news channel had held the notice before the camera during a prime-time programme aired on July 25, it has said.