1.The state must allocate a separate and adequate budget for the proper implementation of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 . This budget is required to ensure that protection officers can fully carry out their duties, that there are adequate safe spaces for women who are exiting/ resisting situations of violence that there is competent legal representation and medical response for such women etc.
2. Independent protection officers must be appointed so that they can carry out their duties with proper training and understanding of the objectives of the Act. Trainings must also be conducted to ensure that they understand their duties and responsibilities under the Act and do not practice extra judicial activities such as conducting counseling/mediation which adds to unnecessary delay to the legal process.
3.The state must take proactive measures for the implementation of child friendly procedures provided in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. One of the major challenges being faced in the Lucknow District Court is the erratic change in the special court, which is leading to unnecessary delay in the delivery of justice and adding to the psycho-social trauma of the child victims.
4.The State must ensure that the local complaints committee, the internal complaints committee of every district and government department respectively has been formulated as per the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work place ( Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal ),2013. The state must take active measures to create awareness about the provisions as mandated under the Act. A Gender just workplace, free from all forms of sexual harassment is the fundamental right of every woman as enshrined in the Constitution of India and creating such a work space is the responsibility of every employee of every workplace as enshrined in the Act.
Lucknow, 8th December, 2015: As part of the international campaign of 16 days of activism against gender based violence, Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), a legal advocacy group, organised a street walk to raise Voices Against Acid Violence in India. The walk was also aimed at raising public awareness on the legal provisions and government policies laid down to prevent such crimes and to facilitate the access to justice as well as promote the rights of victims and survivours of Acid Attacks. The Street Walk started from Hindi Sansthan, through Hazrat Ganj and ended at the Multi-Level Parking where the masses demanded an End to the rising cases of Acid Violence in Uttar Pradesh and pledged to take proactive measures to stand for the rights of women facing any form of violence.
The walk saw participation from Lucknow’s civil society members along with members from organisations like Saajhi Duniya, Humsafar, Sahyog, Sanatkada, Sadbhavna Trust, YES Foundation, Medha amongst others. Students from Lucknow University Social Work Department, National P.G. College, Avadh Girls Degree College, etc and Seema Singh, Additional Secretary, LDA, Lucknow was also joined this Street Walk.
Based on AALIs secondary source research (13 english and hindi, national and local newspapers) it has been observed that in most cases of Acid Violence, women have been attacked with acid for saying ‘no’ to unwanted advances by men or for choosing to exit from relationships. AALI is of the firm stand that all women have the right to exercise their choice in relationships and sexual autonomy, free from fear, violence, discrimination and social stigma. AALI strongly opposes and stands against all forms of violence committed against women, including acid attacks, in order to control their sexuality.
AALI’s Executive Director, Renu Mishra addressed the masses saying that “Acid Attacks are a cruel, premeditate crime, committed deliberately whose devastating effects are meant to instill life-ling mental, physical and financial suffering on the victim.”
During the walk, the AALI team not only distributed info-pamphlets on Acid Violence, but also spoke to the public about directions passed by the Supreme Court of India as well as the State Government regarding free medical care and treatment of Acid Attack Survivoirs by private as well as government hospital. They also spoke about the Victim Compensation Scheme put in place by the U.P. State Government which includes relief for acid attack survivours. The AALI team and people present at the street walk warmly welcomed the most recent Supreme Court judgment to include names of acid attack survivours in the Disability List so they can avail benefits in education, employment and rehabilitation under the Persons with Disability Act. They demanded from the State Government that illegal sale of Acid be stopped and effective measures be taken for implementation of rehabilitative schemes for survivours.
Supporting AALIs efforts – Shaista Ambar, President – All India Women Personal Law Board was quoted saying – “Acid attackers are a blot on society. The victim is often subjected to torture, neglect and seclusion for the rest of her life. Guilty should be punished and to make everyone aware, AALI’s efforts for the awareness is certainly appreciated. The board president is with noble people / organizations who are working for the cause of women, children and masses. So that the world may become a happy and beautiful place to live in. We register our sincere involvement to all of your efforts (including the street walk) in making that happen.”
AALI is a feminist legal advocacy group that has been working on the attainment and realisation of human rights of women for the past 2 decades. AALI works with a rights based perspective and provides direct legal intervention in cases of violation of women’s human rights and also provides technical support to various stakeholders in form of a legal resource group. AALI is one of the leading organisation working on the Right to Choice of Women in Relationships and Sexual Autonomy. AALI has a pan India presence with offices in U.P. and Jharkhand and outreach in different States in coordination with like-minded sister organization.
As part of the International Campaign – 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence; AALI organized a State Level Lawyers Workshop on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Lucknow, 28th November, 2015: After a very successful 16 days campaign in 2014, Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI) is again conducting a series of activities this year as part of the international campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (25th November, 2015 – 10th December, 2015). After an inspiring initiation with a support group formation of survivors of Domestic Violence in Lucknow, on the occasion of International Day of Violence Against Women on 25th November, 2015, and a Street Walk in Azamgarh on State Accountability on Right to Information, AALI has organized a State Level Lawyers Workshop on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The workshop was attended by 45 lawyers from 12 districts and the High Court. Lawyers impaneled with the District Legal Services Authority, Lucknow also actively participated in this workshop. The Legal Services Authority provides free legal aid to women and children, along with other marginalized sections of society.
Seema Mishra, a human rights activist and practicing lawyer at Delhi shared the good practices with regard to the implementation of the law in various parts of the country and conducted the session on understanding the various provisions of the Act. Renu Mishra, Programme Manager, AALI too addressed the workshop – “even after 10 years of the enactment of the special legislation, proper and innovative implementation is still not happening in our State. This is evident from the fact that U.P. still doesn’t have independently appointed Protection Officers. The State has not taken proactive measures for the awareness of this Act, because of which women are not being able to fully access justice.” As pointed out by AALI, in Lucknow District Court in 2014 about 555 cases under PWDVA are still pending and only 323 cases have been disposed. In 2015 802 cases are still pending ad only 17 have been disposed. The very purpose of this Act was to extend relief to the aggrieved woman, but the data paints a very contrary picture.
During discussion on Human Rights of Women and State accountability, Advocate Abhay Pratap Singh, Lucknow District Court, said that “Enacting a law and putting various structures in place is not enough, proper monitoring and evaluation of this structure is required for the implementation of this Act in its true spirit”
Apoorva, PO, Case Work Unit AALI shared that out of the 32 cases filed by survivors with the help of AALI, interim relief has been granted only in only 4 cases.
As was highlighted in discussion by the lawyers attending the workshop, the Protection Officer is sending notices to the opposite party for mediation, where as there is no such provision within the Act. Such ultra vires practices put undue pressure on the survivors of Domestic Violence. The lawyers also pointed that mostly courts are awarding only monetary relief in form of maintenance, there is delay in process during which time women survivors and their supporters are put threat and danger of further violence. The Act has the provision of issuing protection orders which can be innovatively used as is done by courts of Delhi, Gurgaon, Bombay etc. but the courts at U.P. are not using this provision to its capacity. Even residence orders are a sparse reality for the women survivors of Domestic violence in U.P. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides for a time bound disposal of cases, but this too is a far from reality.
AALI is a feminist legal advocacy group that has been working on the attainment and realization of human rights of women for the past 2 decades. AALI works with a rights based perspective and provides direct legal intervention in cases of violation of women’s human rights and also provides technical support to various stakeholders in form of a legal resource group. AALI is one of the leading organisation working on the Right to Choice of Women in Relationships and Sexual Autonomy. AALI has a pan India presence with offices in U.P. and Jharkhand and outreach in different States in coordination with like-minded sister organization.
Lucknow, 10th November, 2015: Today AALI celebrates its 17th foundation day , it is only with the support, passion, endurance and perseverance of the human rights defenders community that we have come so far in the journey and would continue to do so in future. A shout out to all the Human Rights defenders, inspiring activists, day to day feminists. We have completed a topsy turvy 17 years of journey together.
Lucknow, 13th January, 2015: Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), Lucknow; a women’s rights group working for over 15 years on the right to choice in decision making and the legal hurdles faced by couples exercising such choice, strongly condemn the step of Lucknow University authorities to expel students for organising a seminar; ‘Who is afraid of love? Love Azaad vs. the lie of Love Jihad’. This seminar was to be addressed by eminent women rights activists like Kavita Krishnan and Dr. Roop Rekha Verma but instead was disrupted by members of Akhil Bharti Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of a right-wing fundamentalist group. These goons disrupted the seminar, where topics such as democracy, secularism and women’s rights were scheduled to be discussed, by vandalizing the venue and physically assaulted many attendees, especially women students and manhandled Kavita Krishnan.
This brazen display of power to suppress the voices raised against communal propagandas and violent backlash towards advocates of women rights is a violation of democracy and the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. Kavita Krishnan told a leading newspaper that “It is atrocious and shocking that a student has been penalised for holding a seminar inside a university. The administration is claiming that they never gave the permission while in reality, they (verbally) withdrew it at the last moment”.
Kavita was quoted saying, “The expulsion is an attack not just on students’ rights but also on womens’ rights, as the talk was on their freedom of choice.” AALI supports the activist in this opinion. The need to dispel the mythical ‘love jihad’ propaganda in light of the increasing communalization of love, freedom of choice and trampling of women’s rights in Uttar Pradesh by Right-Wing fundamentalist groups is the urgent need of the time The academic and secular spaces should promote a healthy discourse and extend full support to those working within the limits of the law of the land. We demand that the LU authorities take back the expulsion of the students who organized the seminar with immediate effect in order to uphold the principles of fundamental rights and democracy.
– The Board and Team of Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI)
Lucknow; 13th November, 2014: Every year India celebrates children’s day on 14th November to promote and honour the bright future that the children of our country possess. Amidst these celebrations it becomes necessary for the country to talk about the protection of child rights within which protection from child sexual abuse is an important issue of concern. According to latest NCRB data, Uttar Pradesh has ranked 3rd highest in cases of rapes against children with 11.17% share of reported incidents in India in 2013.
Complying with the international promise made by India upon signing the UN Convention on Rights of the Child, the Government of India enacted the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) on 14thNovember 2012. Child Sexual Abuse, as per the POCSO now includes offences like penetrative and non-penetrative sexual assault on any part of the child’s body, inappropriate sexual conduct, and exploitation over electronic mediums and pornography. The Act provides for higher punishments for committing such offences. Understanding the special requirements of children, POCSO also provides for a child friendly procedure like the presence of a trusted person throughout the legal process, special courts and special prosecutors, protection for the child from disclosure of identity and from encountering their abuser during the course of the legal proceedings, etc.
Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives, Lucknow (AALI) has been working in districts of UP and Jharkhand to provide legal support to survivors of child sexual abuse and trainings to stakeholders for a better understanding of POCSO. Fighting all forms of threats and backlash from the State as well as the social structure, AALI first took up this issue in 1999 when it provided legal support in a case where the abuser was a relative of the children. With the new law in place, the legal process for justice in such cases has become more sensitive. FIRs are being lodged as POCSO provides for mandatory reporting, though the court procedure is yet to become child friendly. According to latest national statistics provided by NCRB there is only a 31.5% conviction in cases of rapes committed on children and 84.5% cases of such nature are still pending disposal in courts. In the opinion of Renu Mishra, Program Manager, AALI “the justice delivery mechanism can only become more pro child if the State takes initiative to monitor the implementation of POCSO and provide for infrastructure to make the court environment child friendly.”
Today’s meet has been organized with the intention to create a platform for important State and non-State actors to share their experience and challenges during their efforts to highlight the issue of child sexual abuse and the important features of the new law and procedure. The panel of experts for todays press conference was graced by Dr. Anshumali Sharma from Child Welfare Committee, Lucknow (CWC, Lucknow); Ms. Naheed Lahri Khan from the Uttar Pradesh State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (UP, SCPCR); Dr. Roop Rekha Verma, a prominent Human Rights Activist Dr. Manish Singh; Mr. Aftab Mohammad, a child rights specialist from UNICEF; Mr. Akshai Abraham and Ms. Angana Prasad from Project KHEL; and Advocate Abhay Pratap Singh and Advocate Renu Mishra from AALI. Other important actors who were present and contributed to the discussion:, Save the Children, CRY, Sahbhagi Shikshan Kendra, Plan India, Humasafar and others.
As pointed out by Ms. Naheed Lahri Khan from SCPCR, UP “Child Sexual Abuse robs the children of their childhood and creates loss of trust, feeling of guilt and self destructive behaviour. Adults should not only teach children to be able to differentiate between good touch, bad touch and accidental touch, but also be aware of and use the safeguards in law when children tell them about an incident of bad touch. It is important to report the crime to the police and concerned authorities if we want to curb it. “ According to an international statistical analysis of violence against children, published by UNICEF in September, 2014 – Over 70% of girls who are sexually assaulted, in India, have looked up to their own families for help. Among other organisations, Project KHEL is one such initiative which is talking to both, children (boys and girls) as well as parents about the importance of addressing child sexual abuse, breaking their silence and raising their voices against it. They highlight the need to remove social stigmas of guilt and shame on children, as sexual assault is not their fault. A supportive environment for children at home and in society is the first step towards empowered individuals.
During the International Campaign of 16 Days of Activism starting from 25th November, AALI is planning to organize various activities to highlight the discourse on Sexual Assault. During this period, AALI proposes on bringing together these stakeholders in another conference to further address the issue of Child Sexual Abuse and implementation of POCSO, with the objective of formulating a plan of action to ensure State Accountability towards this issue.
लखनऊ, 13 नवम्बर, 2014: भारत में हर साल 14 नवम्बर ‘बाल दिवस’ के रूप में मनाया जाता है । इस उपलक्ष में उत्सव मनाने के साथ ही साथ यह बहुत ज़रूरी है कि हम बच्चों की सुरक्षा और अधिकारों की भी बात करें, ख़ास तौर पर बच्चों के साथ होने वाली यौनिक हिंसा पर वार्ता अत्यंत आवश्यक है । बच्चों के साथ बलात्कार के मामलों नेशनल क्राइम रिकॉर्ड ब्यूरो (एन.सी.आर.बी) द्वारा दिए गए आंकड़ो के अनुसार उत्तर प्रदेश का देश में तीसरे स्थान पर है तथा कुल घटनाओं का 11.17 प्रतिशत उत्तर प्रदेश में घटित हुआ हैं ।
यूनाइटेड नेशन की अन्तराष्ट्रीय सन्धि ‘कन्वेंशन ऑन राइट्स ऑफ़ चाइल्ड’ पर भारत ने भी हस्ताक्षर किये हैं और उसके हस्ताक्षरकर्ता होने के कारण भारत सरकार का यह उत्तरदायित्व है कि वह देश में बच्चों के अधिकारों को सुनिश्चित करने के लिए आवश्यकता अनुसार कानून और योजनायें बनायें । इस सन्दर्भ में भारत सरकार ने बच्चों का यौनिक हिंसा से बचाव के लिए 14 नवम्बर, 2012 को एक कानून-‘लैंगिक आपराधों से बालकों का संरक्षण अधिनियम, 2012’ अधिनियमित किया । (इस कानून की प्रमुख विशेषताएं अलग से प्रेस विज्ञप्ति के साथ संलग्न हैं)
उत्तर प्रदेश और झारखण्ड में सघन रूप से महिला व बाल अधिकारों पर काम कर रही संस्था ‘एसोसिएशन फॉर एडवोकेसी एंड लीगल इनिशिएटिव’ (आली), जो यौन हिंसा के केसों में कानूनी सहायता प्रदान करती है तथा विभिन्न सरकारी और गैर-सरकारी संगठनो के साथ इस कानून के बारे में जागरूकता हेतु प्रशिक्षण का आयोजन करती है तथा कानून के प्रभावी क्रियान्वयन हेतु राष्ट्रिय और अंतरराष्ट्रिय स्तर पर पैरोकारी करती है । वर्ष 1999 में आली ने पहली बार एक बाल यौन हिंसा के केस में हस्तक्षेप किया, जिसमे आरोपी बच्चे का निकट सम्बन्धी था । इस मामले में आली को ना सिर्फ समाज के साथ बल्कि राज्य पक्षकारों (पुलिस और न्यायालय) की तरफ से भी चुनौतियों का सामना करना पड़ा । इस नए कानून के आने के बाद न्याय और न्याय की प्रक्रिया पहले से संवेदित हो गयी है । क्यो कि यह कानून बाल यौन हिंसा के मामलों में अनिवार्य रिपोर्टिंग की बात करता है इसलिए इस प्रकार के मामले अब रिपोर्ट तो हो रहे हैं पर पुलिस और न्यायालय की प्रक्रिया को बच्चों के लिए संवेदित और उनके अनुरूप होने की आवश्यकता है ।
(एन.सी.आर.बी) के आकड़ो के अनुसार बच्चों के साथ बलात्कार के मामलों में केवल 31.5 प्रतिशत केसों में ही आरोपियों को सजा मिल पायी है और 84.5 प्रतिशत ऐसे केस अभी भी न्यायालय में लंबित हैं । आली की कार्यक्रम प्रबंधक और एक अधिवक्ता रेनू मिश्रा ने कहा कि “ राज्य को इस कानून के क्रियान्वयन की निगरानी के लिए प्रभावी कदम उठाने चाहिए तथा न्यायालय को मूलभूत व्यवस्थाओं को बच्चों के अनुरूप बनाना चाहिए तभी यह कानून अपने उदेश्य में सफल हो सकता है.”
दिनांक 13 नवम्बर २०१४ को आली द्वारा प्रेसवार्ता का आयोजन किया गया जिसका उद्देश्य बच्चों के साथ होने वाली यौनिक हिंसा के खिलाफ काम कर रहे सरकारी व गैर सरकारी संगठनों को एक मंच पर लाया गया । प्रेस वार्ता के पैनल में लखनऊ के बाल कल्याण समिति के सदस्य डा. अंशुमाली शर्मा, उत्तर प्रदेश राज्य बाल अधिकार संरक्षण आयोग की सदस्य सुश्री नाहिद लारी खान, वरिष्ट मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ती सुश्री रूप रेखा वर्मा, बाल अधिकारों पर काम करने वाली अन्तराष्ट्रीय संस्था ‘यू.नि.से.फ. से श्री आफताब मोहम्मद, बाल अधिकार विशेषज्ञ डा. मनीष सिंह, और बच्चों के साथ यौनिक हिंसा पर जागरूकता पर कार्य कर रही संस्था ‘खेल’ से श्री अक्षय अब्राहम व सुश्री अंगना प्रसाद, अधिवक्ता श्री अभय प्रताप सिंह और आली की कार्यक्रम प्रबंधक और अधिवक्ता सुश्री रेनू मिश्रा ने प्रतिभाग किया तथा ‘लैंगिक आपराधों से बालकों का संरक्षण अधिनियम, 2012’ की प्रमुख बातों और चुनौतियों पर चर्चा की गई । इस प्रेस वार्ता में ऐ.ड.वा, ऐ.प.वा. सनतकदा, सहभागी शिक्षण केंद्र, प्लान इंडिया, हमसफ़र, व अन्य मानव अधिकार संस्थाओं ने भी सहभागिता की ।
जैसा की नाहीद लहरी खान, सदस्य उत्तर प्रदेश बाल अधिकार संरक्षण आयोग ने बताया कि “बाल यौन शोषण बच्चों से उनका बचपन छीन लेता है । उनमें घटना के लिए स्वयं दोषी होने की भावना व्याप्त होने लगती है और उनका लोगों के प्रति विश्वास ख़त्म हो जाता है । आमतौर पर बच्चों में स्वघातक भावना भी उत्पन्न हो जाती है । हमें बच्चों को न सिर्फ अच्छे / बुरे सस्पर्श व गलती से हुए स्पर्श में अंतर समझाना चाहिए बल्कि कानून में दिए ऐसे प्रावधानों की भी जानकारी होनी चाहिए जिनका वह इस्तेमाल बच्चों द्वारा की गयी बुरे स्पर्श की शिकायतों पर कर सकें । इस जुर्म को रोकने के लिए, इसकी शिकायत पुलिस और सम्बंधित अधिकारियों को देना ज़रूरी है ।” बालकों के विरुद्ध हिंसा पर UNICEF द्वारा किये गए एक अन्तराष्ट्रीय शोध (सितम्बर 2014 में प्रकाशित) के अनुसार: – भारत में 70% से ज्यादा लडकियां, जोकि यौन शोषण से पीड़ित हैं, अपने परिवारजनों से मदद की अपेक्षा रखती हैं । प्रोजेक्ट खेल एक ऐसी ही संस्था है जिसने बच्चों और उनके माता-पिता, दोनों से ही बाल यौन शोषण पर संवाद शरू किया है जिसमें वह ऐसे शोषण के खिलाफ अपनी चुप्पी तोड़ने और शोषण के खिलाफ आवाज़ उठाने की महत्वता पर चर्चा करते हैं । चर्चा के दौरान वह बच्चों को उन पर हुए यौन शोषण को उनकी गलती न ठहराते हुए, बच्चों पर शर्मिंदगी और बदनामी जैसे सामाजिक दबाव को हटाने की ज़रुरत पर ज़ोर देते हैं । घर और समाज में बच्चों के प्रति समर्थक परिवेश ही उनको भविष्य में सशक्त व्यक्ति बनाने का पहला कदम है ।
25 नवम्बर से शुरु होने वाले अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय १६ दिवसीय अभियान के दौरान आली संगठन ने यौनिक उत्पीडन से सम्बंधित मुददो पर चर्चा करने व उन्हें चिन्हित करने के लिए कई प्रकार की गतिविधियां प्रस्तावित है । बाल यौन हिंसा के मामलो में राज्य की जवाबदेही सुनिश्चित करने के लिए इस १६ दिवसीय अभियान के दौरान आली योजना के तौर पर सभी स्टेकहोल्डर को एक मंच पर लाने का प्रयास कर रहा है जिससे बालको के यौनिक हिंसा से सम्बंधित कानून “बालको का लैंगिक अपराध से संरक्षण अधिनियम, २०१२” के प्रभावी क्रियान्वयन हेतु भविष्यगत रणनीति बनाई जा सके ।
संपर्क व्यक्ति :
Lucknow, 16th July, 2014: The double rape and murder of two cousin sisters on 27thMay, 2014 in village Katra, Sahadatganj, District Badaun, Uttar Pradesh led to an uproar in the country. The bodies of the young girls, belonging to a lower caste, hung from a tree in the village,in a brazen display of power and impunity, attracting global condemnation.
The accused men, including two policemen, named in the FIR by the victim families, belong to a dominant caste community, wieldingmuch social and political clout in the area. Given thesevere power imbalance, the victim family, apprehensive that the local police will collude and shield the accused men, sought a prompt and fair investigation by the CBI.It needs reiteration that it was on the request of the family of the deceased girls that the case was handed over to the CBI. The victim family wants the truth to be uncovered and the murderers punished.
However since thenthe manner in which the CBI is handling the case, in particular the treatment of the victim family members by the CBI raises serious concern and troubling questions.Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), a women’s rights organization headquartered in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, has been in regular touch with the family of the deceased and has been providing socio-legal support to them.AALI has been following the case and monitoring the media coverage of the incident and the statementsissued the CBI with regard to the investigation.
Surely CBI, the premier investigating agency of the country is well versed in law, procedure and evidence and has up to date knowledgeregarding the protocols for medical examination of victims of sexual violence. The trajectory of the CBI’s investigation is therefore puzzling, if not worrying.
Both the fathers and 2 Uncles of the murdered girls were subjected to lie detector tests, even though the same has no evidentiary value before a Court of law.The Supreme Court of India in its landmark judgment of Selvi and ors. Vs. State of Karnataka has “…elaborated how the compulsory administration of any of these techniques is an unjustified intrusion into the mental privacy of an individual. It would also amount to `cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ with regard to the language of evolving international human rights norms. … Even when the subject has given consent to undergo any of these tests, the test results by themselves cannot be admitted as evidence because the subject does not exercise conscious control over the responses during the administration of the test.”Given that this test will yield no evidence why did the CBI whisk away the victims’ father and Uncle for more than 72 hours and keep them in undisclosed place beyond the reach of their family. The victim family is anxious, is there a plan afoot to maneuver the investigation, manipulate public opinion and divert investigation away from the accused persons, particularly where poor and vulnerable victims have accused socially politically powerful men and well -networked police men for this heinous crime.
In the Badaun case the media has been faithfully and uncritically reportingonly on the basis of CBI handouts, abandoning its role as a watchdog. According to press reports the CBI has expressed dissatisfaction with the autopsy report and has therefore sought to exhume the bodies of the 2 girls. Under law, the exhumation of the bodies can only take place with the voluntary and valid consent of the victim family.Pertinently, the CBI has not yetbroached this with the victim family or sought their consent, although the same has been broadcast by CBI in national and local newspapers. Grief stricken, helpless and bewildered the family has expressed discomfort and unease with the proposed exhumation.
Alarmed at these developments we sought the advice of forensic, health and legal experts to answer our concerns.
According to the CBI the autopsy was bungled as it was done late at night which is in violation of the procedure prescribed for autopsies.Mumbai based, CEHAT (Centre for Enquiry Into Health and Allied Themes), has opined that there is no legal bar on conducting autopsies at night. The directive of 1995 requires the autopsies to be done in a place where there is adequate light. Autopsy on both the girls have been video recorded, which is evidence of the fact that there was sufficient light.
The CBI states that proper procedure was not followed during autopsy and a panel of doctors will conduct the autopsy after exhumation. This claim of the CBI is patently false and inaccurate. The post mortem report clearly states that the post mortem examinations on both the girls was conducted by a panel of three doctors consisting of: Dr. Ranju Kumar Gupta, Physician; Dr. Avdhesh Kumar, Surgeon, both of the District Hospital Badaun and Dr. (Mrs.) Pushpa Pant Tripathi, Gynecologist and Obstetrician, of District Female Hospital, Badaun. The claim that one of the lady doctors who did the autopsies was doing so for the first time does not hold, as the same were conducted by a panel of doctors.
The CBI has also claimed that the autopsy report of the stategovernment was only suggestive of rape without conclusively proving it. But as pointed out by Vrinda Grover, a New Delhi based Supreme Court lawyer and women’s right advocate, “Doctors cannot give a medical opinion whether rape has occurred or not because ‘rape’ is a legal term. The issue of whether an incident of rape/sexual assault occurred is a legal issue and not a medical diagnosis. The post- mortem report of the 2 girls clearly records injury around the vaginal orifice and abrasions and injury on the hymen and the doctors have recorded their provisional findings as suggestive of rape. It would have been more appropriate for the Doctors to say that there are signs of use of force, suggestive of sexual violence. Moreover, the medical findings of the autopsy report are provisional as a final opinion can only be given after receiving reports from FSL of the vaginal smears, clothes sent to the FSL. It is therefore quite shocking and unwarranted that CBI should seek a conclusive finding of rape from the autopsy report.”
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare National Guidelines for medico-legal care for survivors/victims of sexual violence, issued by MoHFW in March, 2014 states that only findings in relation to medical findings should be recorded in the medical report. The doctors are instructed on how to formulate opinion; a provisional opinion immediately after examination and a final opinion after the forensic reports are received. Even in case where there are genital and bodily injuries, the doctor can only state “suggestive of sexual violence” the doctors must ensure that a medical opinion cannot be given on whether ‘rape’ occurred.
As explained by Dr. Jagdeesh Reddy, a Bangalore based forensic doctor, in this case, the doctors should have opined that there are “signs of forced penetration of genitals / vulva, however definitive opinion would be given after receiving final reports from FSL of the vaginal smears” or ‘there are injuries on genitals/vulva which are suggestive of forced penetration of genitals/vulva, however definitive opinion would be given after receiving final reports from FSL of the vaginal smears’ instead of commenting as ‘findings suggestive of rape’.
The opinions of the experts leave no doubt before us that the provisional outcome of the postmortem reports of the deceased girls have little to no flaw in procedure or finding, leaving no cogent or valid reason for the CBI to seek the exhumation of the bodies for a fresh autopsy.
Curious about the CBIs move for a fresh autopsy, Dr. Reddy hasalso pointed out that ‘it has been about six weeks since the death of these girls. With advanced stages of decomposition of bodies it is unlikely to comment about the skin and mucosal injuries with 100% accuracy. Same applies to the detection of much of the trace evidences from these decomposed bodies.’
If impunity for crimes against women is to be checked and if girls are to live as free and equal citizens, the accused, irrespective of their socio-economic status and their political connections, must be prosecuted by the CBI. It is not just the victim families in Badaun, but women across India and the world community is tracking the Badaun case, to see if justice will be done.
Contact : AALI office (0522-2782060/66) Shubhangi (09161454706) Renu Mishra (09415037634)
लखनऊ, 16 जुलाई, 2014: 27 मई, 2014 को को कटरा गाँव. सहादतगंज, बदायूँ मे दो चचेरी बहनों के साथ सामूहिक बलात्कार और हत्या की घटना ने पूरे देश मे कुहराम मचा दिया | पिछड़े वर्ग की दो युवा लड़कियों का शव, गाँव मे पेड़ पर लटकता हुआ मिला, सत्ता के इस शर्मनाक प्रदर्शन और दोषियों के दंड मुक्त प्रभाव की इस घटना की पुरे विश्व मे निंदा हुई |
आरोपी, जिसमे दो पुलिसकर्मी भी शामिल है, जिनका नाम परिवार ने प्रथम सुचना रिपोर्ट (FIR) मे दर्ज करवाया है, सभी एक प्रभावशाली जाति और समुदाय के है, जिसका उस क्षेत्र मे सर्वाधिक सामाजिक और राजनितिक रसूख है | इस असंतुलित सत्ता सम्बन्ध के कारण पीड़ित परिवार आशंकित है कि स्थानीय पुलिस आरोपियों से साठ-गांठ कर उनका बचाव करेगी, इसलिए मामले की त्वरित और निष्पक्ष जाँच के लिए परिवार ने सीबीआई जाँच की मांग की | इस बिंदु पर फिर से ध्यान देने की आवश्यकता है कि, मृतक लड़कियों के परिवार की मांग पर पर ही यह केस सी.बी.आई. को सोंपा गया | पीड़ित परिवार यह चाहता है कि घटना का सच सामने आये और हत्यारों को सजा मिले |
हालाँकि अब इस केस को लेकर सी बी आई के रवैया, ख़ास तौर पर सी बी आई का पीड़ित परिवार के साथ व्यवहार को लेकर चिंताएं और गम्भीर प्रश्न उठ रहे है | उत्तर प्रदेश की एक मानवाधिकार संगठन, ऐसोसिएशन फॉर एडवोकेसी एंड लीगल इनिशिएटिव(आली) जिसका मुख्यालय लखनऊ मे है, मृतक लड़कियों के परिवारजनों को सामाजिक व कानूनी सहायता दे रही है तथा लगातार परिवारजनों के संपर्क मे है | आली लगातार इस केस का अनुसरण कर रही है और इस केस से सम्बंधित मीडिया मे प्रकाशित ख़बरों तथा केस की विवेचना से सम्बंधित सी.बी.आई. के बयानों पर निगरानी रख रही है |
निश्चित ही सी.बी.आई., देश की प्रमुख जाँच एजेंसी कानून, कानूनी प्रक्रियाओं तथा सबूत इकठ्ठा करने मे दक्ष है, और यौनिक हिंसा पीड़ितों की चिकत्सकीय जाँच के लिए बने प्रोटोकॉल सम्बंधित आधुनिक जानकारी भी रखती है | सी.बी.आई. द्वारा केस की विवेचना की प्रणाली, यदि चिंताजनक नहीं भी तो, हैरान करने वाला तो अवश्य ही है |
दोनों मृतकों के पिता और चाचाओं का पोलीग्राफ परिक्षण करवाना, जबकि इसकी कोई प्रमाणिकता कोर्ट ऑफ़ लॉ मे नहीं है | भारत के सर्वोच्च न्यायालय ने सेल्वी और अन्य बनाम कर्णाटक राज्य मामले मे दिए निर्णय मे, विस्तार पूर्वक कहा है कि किस प्रकार एसे किसी भी तकनीको का अनिवार्य क्रियान्वयन यह एक व्यक्ति की मानसिक निजता मे अनुचित घुसपैठ है | यह ‘क्रूर, अमानवीय या अपमानजनक व्यवहार है’ अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय मानवाधिकार कानून के मनको के अनुसार …यदि विषय(व्यक्ति) ने ऐसे किसी भी परिक्षण के लिए सहमती दी हो तब भी, परिक्षण के परिणाम को वह स्वयं भी प्रमाण की तरह स्वीकार नहीं कर सकते क्यूंकि परिक्षण के दौरान विषय(व्यक्ति) का स्वयं की प्रतिक्रिया पर सचेत नियंत्रण नहीं होता है |
इस तथ्य को जानते हुए की इस जाँच की कोई प्रमाणिकता नहीं है, सी.बी.आई. क्यों मृतकों के पिता और चाचा को उनके जिले से दूर 72 घंटों के लिए एक इसे अनजान स्थान पर रखा जहाँ उनका परिवार भी उनसे संपर्क नहीं कर पा रहा था | पीड़ित परिवार परेशान है |
Lucknow, June 26th, 2014 :The investigation of the gang rape and murder of 2 minor girls, belonging to a lower caste on the night of May 27th- 28th, 2014 in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh was transferred to the CBI, after it was found that the local police was complicit in the crime and shielding the accused persons.
It was hoped that the CBI would promptly and professionally investigate this heinous crime and uncover the truth. However the CBI’s decision to conduct polygraph and other scientific tests on the family of the deceased along with the accused is worrisome. Given the social and political clout and influence that the accused persons wield the family is apprehensive that due to their disadvantaged status they will not get justice. The family is aware that there are many powerful forces who want to protect the accused persons and malign and defame the character of the murdered girls.
The family has agreed to undergo these tests, for not only do they have nothing to hide but they also want the truth to be established and the perpetrators of this dastardly crime punished. The family is willing to extend all possible cooperation with an unbiased and timely investigation.
However, now the initial steps taken by the CBI investigation has caused the victim family alarm. Having said this, they are losing faith in the investigation procedure since the CBI is following the same trend as the UP police and treating them as the accused rather than the complainants. They have also voiced their apprehensions regarding these tests as they are still not aware of what to expect, how these tests will be conducted and to what objective.
Civil society groups and women’s rights groups from Uttar Pradesh standing in solidarity with the victim family, express grave concern at the manner in which the investigation by the CBI is proceeding. We regard the CBI’s decision to conduct polygraph and other tests on the victim family as an attempt to brow beat and harass the victim family and derail and drag the investigation. The decision of the CBI to seek to conduct a polygraph test on the victim family is perverse and an attempt to distort the truth. It is deplorable that we have to remind the country’s premier investigating agency, the CBI, that rape of a girl is a crime against humanity in which she is the victim and cannot be viewed with any suspicion, nor aspersions cast on her character. We demand that the Badaun investigation be supervised by a senior CBI officer of impeccable credentials and the focus of the investigation be brought back on the accused persons.
The family of the deceased belongs to a socially and economically oppressed community and hence, manipulation and coercion to divert and detract from a fair investigation and trial cannot be ruled out.
This case is a test for the UP government and for CBI to establish their credibility and that women will receive their justice with dignity. Civil society will keep a vigil on this case so that the socio- economic status of the victims of sexual violence will not determine the outcome of the investigation and trial and ensure that justice is done.
On Behalf of : The family of the deceased girls and Civil society and women rights groups.
Contact : 09161454706 (Shubhangi, AALI) , 09415343437 (Apoorva, AALI), 09918000440 (Neetu, Humsafar), 09415324447 (Rajan Singh, ActionAid), 08449710679 (Shilpi, Sakar), 09936174098 (Ram Dular, NCDHR), 09412233057 (RamKumar, DAG), 0941504361 (Madhvi Kukreja, Sanatkada)