High Court Orders DGP To Get Lawyers At Police Station

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Gujarat HC Orders DGP To Get Lawyers At Police Station

| Updated: February 23, 2022 13:00

After noticing that the Supreme Court’s directions issued 27 years ago had been disregarded, the Gujarat high court ordered the director-general of police (DGP) to ensure that all police stations across the state have a panel of advocates aid survivors of sexual offences.

The High Court said that its intervention seems necessary to ensure rape survivors get legal representation from the beginning of criminal proceedings.

The HC gave the order while it was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the family of a minor girl who had been abducted and sexually exploited.

When the girl was rescued, she was found pregnant. After the nod from the survivor and her family, the HC ordered the termination of her pregnancy.

However, when the bench of Justice Sonia Cokami and Justice Aniruddha Mayee enquired about the legal assistance given to the survivor, the investigating officer was found ignorant about any such measure.

This arrangement was envisaged to secure continuity of assistance by ensuring that the same person who looked after the survivor’s interests at a police station represented her till the end of the case.

According to the 1995 order of the Supreme Court, every police station was directed to create a panel of lawyers to assist the survivors of sexual offences.

The court also said no list of enrollment of advocates was noticed in the police stations.

The High Court has told the DGP to file an affidavit in six weeks showing how the apex court’s directions have complied.

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