RAIPUR: For the first time in the history of Chhattisgarh High Court, a rape victim stood before the judge to plead and argue for her case seeking justice.
Appearing before a single bench of Justice Sanjay K Agrawal after her petition was filed, she sought permission to argue the case herself which was granted by the court apparently going by the seriousness of the issue.
After hearing her argument, the court issued a notice to the Bilaspur superintendent of police Abhishek Meena asking why there has been no arrest after the FIR had been lodged. Meena has also been ordered to submit the reply with an affidavit before the court by May 17.
The victim, who hails from West Bengal, stated that she couldn’t afford to engage a lawyer to fight her case though she knew an advocate could be made available from the legal aid cell. But she affirmed that being a victim of sexual assault and based on the police inaction, she feels that she can present her case herself without any legal counsel.
However, the police claimed that an FIR was lodged against the accused Shubham Lalwani, who is a resident of Rajnandgaon district and his accomplice Aneesh Khan. “She come to my office some 10 days ago and the same day the FIR was lodged at Sarkanda police station in Bilaspur, where the complaint has been registered. As per the preliminary information the victim was initially given a false promise by the alleged rapist to marry her but later he refused. He is absconding”, Meena told the New Indian Express.
The accused, finding the victim alone in a house, had allegedly raped her after which he pledged to marry her as a compromise. Though the victim agreed to the compromise, she reported the matter to the police after the accused took back his promise.
Last month, the Supreme Court had ruled that sex on the pretext of marriage is rape. A bench of Justice L Nageshwara Rao and Justice MR Shah made the observation in the context of a case registered by a woman accusing a Chhattisgarh-based doctor, with whom she had a love affair, of raping her in 2013.