The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to pass any direction on a plea, filed in the backdrop of the Hathras incident, seeking reforms in the laws concerning rape and grievous injuries, but asked the petitioner to file a representation before the Central government for the same.
A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said the court can not make legislation and asked the petitioner, advocate Kirti Ahuja, to file representation before the Central govermment.
The petiitoner’s counsel told the court that after the Hathras incident a lot of people searched for the victim online and added that even her (victim’s) photograph was uploaded on internet.
During the hearing, Justice Ramana observed that these issues have nothing to do with law.
“People want to do such things. There is a right to freedom of speech and expression. Already there are enough laws for this. It’s unfortunate that these incidents happen and people don’t follow the law,” Justice Ramana remarked.
The counsel argued that inspite of the legislation to punish the accused in rape and murder case, trials of the case are not taking place in time.
“We can’t legislate laws after laws. It’s not for wisdom of this court to make legislation,make representation to Govermment of India,” the bench said. It appropriated the petitioners for bringing the issue but said the court can not make legislation.
“We appreciate the efforts of the petitioner. At the same time this court can’t make legislation and can’t pass direction but petitioner is at liberty to make representation. We hope and trust govermment will take a look into it and take necessary action,” the bench said.
The apex court was hearing a public interest litigation, filed by advocates Kirti Ahuja and Kanika Ahuja, praying for reforms in the laws concerning rape and grievous injuries.
The petitioners had prayed that the rape victims should have the right to appoint private counsels for fighting the cases on their behalf and they suggest that an amendment be made to Section 301 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) 1973.
It was argued that rather than privatising the prosecution, which it said will be unfair to the accused as it will lead to prolonged trials by setting stage for a never ending tug of war between the accused and the victim’s counsel and will also facilitate commodification of justice, it is better to bring in a few reforms in the state facilitated public prosecution system functions.
This matter comes in the backdrop of an incident, in which a 19-year-old had succumbed to her injuries at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on September 29 after being assaulted and allegedly gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on September 14.
Her body was cremated by the Uttar Pradesh Police and the administration allegedly without the consent or the presence of the victim’s family.