KOCHI: The state government on Monday extended its support for the plea of the victim in the Malayalam actor assault and abduction case seeking to constitute a special court headed by a woman judge for the trial.
In the statement, the Home department submitted that "considering the special circumstances government is of the opinion that a special court may be constituted headed by a woman judge for the trial for a period of one year or until the closure of trial whichever is earlier."
The state government filed the statement in response to a petition filed by the victim challenging the Ernakulam Sessions Court order rejecting her plea for transferring the case to a court of woman judge for trial on the ground that there was no women additional sessions judge in the Ernakulam district.
The petitioner said that the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code mandated that the victim of an offence of gang rape should not be compelled to depose and otherwise participate in a trial before a male judge. This was to protect her privacy and dignity and keep intrusion thereon as minimal as possible. Even if an appropriate court presided over by a woman judge was not available within the Ernakulam district, section 185 of the Criminal Procedure Code grants sufficient power to the government to transfer any case committed for trial to any sessions court to any other Sessions Court.
The government submitted that the victim had submitted a representation and it was forwarded to the High Court. In response to the communication, the High Court replied that it had given the necessary direction to the Principal Sessions Judge, Ernakulam for trial and dispose of the case expeditiously. "As the case became sensational one and widely discussed in media and also many litigations are arising, the government is of the view that a speedy trial is essential," government submitted.