Guwahati HC speeds up investigation, conviction in the rape of deaf, mute woman by SSB Jawans


Kwawmdao Wary & Anr vs Union of India & Ors, PIL No. 48 of 2012 Inaction and unwillingness by the local police to pursue a case of gang-rape of a deaf and mute woman in the Kokrajhar district of Assam by 10-16 SSB Jawans stationed at the Saralpara SSB camp in the area on the night of 10th September 2011 led to the filing of two consecutive PILs before the Guwahati High Court. The first PIL (65/2011) was disposed off on 17th July 2012, when the State counsel informed the Hon ble High Court that the police has completed its investigation. The Court was please to pass an order for the trial court to proceed expeditiously in the matter. However, in the trial court, the police filed a closure report stating that though rape was established no one could be apprehended because there was no concrete base of suspect. Having gone through the final report and the representation from the victim, the CJM, Kokrajhar ordered for a reinvestigation coming to the conclusion that the police had not investigated the matter properly on 25th April 2012. The Petitioner had to file the present PIL (48 of 2012) again before the Guwahati High Court, when even after 3 months of the CJM's order no concrete action was being taken to investigate the case. With the Hon'ble High Court s intervention the investigation of the rape was taken over by the CID (Assam), Rs 1 lakh interim compensation was given to the victim and her family and the Court ordered the Director General, SSB, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi to ensure all cooperation in the investigation. Finally, the Court was informed that 3 SSB jawans have been identified and arrested. On learning of this positive development in the investigation, the Court was pleased to dispose of the PIL on 23rd May 2013 with the directions that the final report (charge-sheet) be submitted before the concerned court at the earliest. However, in doing so, the Court did not address the question of any action against the erring police officers of the Kokrajhar Police Station who did not do their duty properly leading to inordinate delay in the rape case.