NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the CBI to probe a case wherein two rape videos were posted on WhatsApp and directed it to nab the culprits and sought responses from the Centre and Governments of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Delhi and Telangana.
Taking suo motu note of a letter, written by a Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala on the posting of two videos of rape on WhatsApp, to the Chief Justice H L Dattu, a Social Justice Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said, “The fact of the matter is that it is a very serious issue and something needs to be done.” “Since the first suggestion (of NGO) is for a CBI probe, notice be issued to the CBI Director to register the crime and start investigation with immediate effect,” the Bench said.
The NGO, which provided the videos in a pen drive along with the letter to the CJI, said that one video, which is 4.5-minute-long, shows a man raping a girl while another man is filming the heinous act.
The other video, spanning 8.5 minute, pertains to the gangrape of a girl by five men who are shown smiling, cracking jokes and taking photos while the crime is committed, the petition said. The court issued notices to the Ministries of Home Affairs and Information Technology and asked the MHA Secretary to forward the pen drive/DVD to the CBI Director forthwith. The NGO also mooted the idea of maintaining a National Sex Offenders Register which should contain details of all persons convicted for offences like eve-teasing, stalking, molestation and other sexual assaults.
The Bench said that it has taken cognisance of the letter referred to it by the CJI and ordered that a proper petition be filed on March 9. It has now fixed the case for hearing on March 13.
It issued notice to Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Delhi after examining the videos. The Bench also issued notice to Telangana after it was told that no significant progress has been made by the state government in a case relating to the attack on the car of one of the office-bearers of the NGO who had launched the ‘Shame the Rapist’ campaign on social networking sites.