BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to take steps to improve the conviction rate in sexual abuse cases and prepare a scheme to protect victims and witnesses.
The High Court was hearing a PIL filed by women advocates of the court seeking a single-window system of relief for victims of sexual abuse.
The petitioner and the government pleader informed the court that the petitioners, and officials from government departments and the state legal aid authority met to work on a scheme that will offer all assistance to the victims under a single umbrella.
The Department of Social Justice will implement this through legal aid authorities, and the victims will get compensation after the verification of claims by the legal aid authority.
The chief justice, however, expressed concern over the decreasing rate of conviction in sexual harassment cases. “Most cases are resulting in acquittal of the accused, and in 17 to 18 per cent of cases, victims have turned hostile. What is the government doing regarding this?” asked the chief justice.
Asking the government to work on criminal cases and focus on convictions, the chief justice observed, “The schemes formulated by the government do not talk about increasing conviction rates.
“They have no provision for the protection of victim and witnesses,” he added.
“In cases of monetary compensation, victims get compensation but later turn hostile in court because of which the accused are acquitted,” he said.
“After initiating prosecution, it is the duty of the state to ensure that the accused is prosecuted,” the chief justice said.
HC Displeased With Work on Model Road
The High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over BBMP’s slow pace of work on model roads in the city.
The court has directed all departments concerned to submit by December 11 an action plan and time frame within which they will finish the work and reduce the pollution levels in the city.
A division bench of Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice R B Budihal was hearing a suo motu petition on the high level of noise and air pollution in the city.
During the last hearing, the Chief Justice had directed the BBMP to choose an important road in the city and upgrade it as a model road -- free from air and noise pollution -- within 15 days.
On Tuesday, the BBMP submitted a memo before the court stating that the civic body has selected three roads for upgradation with footpaths, parking space and proper width.
The three roads selected are Cubbon Road (from Dickenson Road to Central Street), Race Course Road (from Chalukya Circle to Shivananda Circle) and Sankey Road (from Windsor Manor bridge to Raj Bhavan Road junction).
The memo also includes a letter written by the Corporation on November 21 to the Pollution Control Board asking it to take measures to reduce pollution on these roads.
The court, however, asked the BBMP to come up with a model road in 15 days. D
‘Revoke Suspension of KMF MD’
The High Court on Tuesday directed the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) to revoke the suspension of I R Ramalinge Gowda and appoint him managing director of KMF.
Hearing a petition filed by Gowda challenging his suspension, a division bench headed by Justice K L Manjunath allowed the appeal.
Gowda was suspended by KMF in 2011 over an alleged scam.
His petition was dismissed by the single judge bench after which he filed an appeal. The bench observed that KMF has not taken necessary permission from the National Diary Development Board (NDDB) to conduct an enquiry on Gowda and had also not conducted any investigation into the scam.
Hence, the bench directed KMF to revoke their decision.