Don't add religious colour to crimes against women in UP: SC to NGO
The issue of alleged kidnap and gang-rape of girls in Western Uttar Pradesh for forced conversion and trafficking came up in the Supreme Court.
New Delhi: The issue of alleged kidnap and gang-rape of girls in Western Uttar Pradesh for forced conversion and trafficking came up in the Supreme Court which warned an NGO from giving a religious "colour" to it.
However, a bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha, which raised objections to the court being moved directly without the National Commission for Women (NCW) or the competent police authority being approached, allowed the NGO to withdraw the petition with a liberty to file afresh by deleting "vague statements".
"This is a secular state. Don't try to bring religion into the court. We are also concerned with the matter and you are also saying it is serious. But the colour which you are giving is also concerning us. We are concerned with the law point," the bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman said.
"You should not do anything or do anything by word of mouth which would disturb the peace. We are a secular state and everything should be done that protects the secular fabric. Nobody should do things to disturb the secular fabric," the bench said while declining to go into merits of the petition filed on the basis of news reports.
"You don't produce anything to show that you made a representation to NCW. You don't have anything to show you made representation to police. You have made vague statements.
"This is a petition in the Supreme Court. Every word used should be relevant to the matter for adjudication. It cannot be substituted with any other words," the bench.
The NGO, Jayati Bharatam, claiming itself to be working for care and upliftment of women in Uttar Pradesh, had filed the petition along with 10 advocates, seeking probe by Special Investigating Team (SIT) and direction to the Centre to take help of central forces for rescuing 40 to 50 young girls/women allegedly held captives in western UP districts.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the NGO and others, submitted that vote bank politics was coming in the way of taking effective steps and madrasas in UP have become hub for forced conversion.
However, the bench was not in agreement with his contention and said "there is no material in the petition to prima facie satisfy us."
"This is a democratic country and every state has an elected government," the bench said while making it clear that the NGO should have first made representation before the NCW or the police for action in accordance with law.
The bench also said that though there are allegations that 40 to 50 girls have been kidnapped and gangraped, "parents of none have filed any complaint."
The advocate said there are complaints with the police and reports are emerging in media. The NGO withdrew the petition later with liberty to file an appropriate one.
Despite having a relationship with the accused for four years, the victim appears to have become aware of her rights suddenly after the promulgation of the ordinance, the judge said
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