Missing File: rape case yet to reach trial court after 20 years
Following an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, it came to light that the case file marked 464/1993 of the Connaught Place police station in New Delhi was missing from the Saket district court. The case pertains to rape where the victim was 16 years old at the time of incident. The matter is still to reach the trial even 20 years after the incident and the missing of the documents at this stage indicates the seriousness with which the system treats the victims. The missing of the file is being attributed to its passing through several trial court judges and the record keepers over the years.
The accused was arrested and taken into judicial custody by the local police after the FIR was lodged in the case. A charge-sheet was filed after the completion of investigation but the case has not reached the trial stage.
Following a petition, the Delhi High Court has sought the status report from the District Judge of Saket court regarding the allegation that the file of a 20-year-old rape case is missing. The petitioner requested the Division Bench of Chief Justice Darmar Murugesan and Justice V. K. Jain High Court to pass a direction for initiate fresh trial proceedings against the accused.
It has been reported that following the RTI application, a vigilance inquiry has been ordered into the file going missing. The victim has demanded action against the court staff responsible for the disappearance of the file. The incidence also calls for taking measures for appropriate keeping of the documents for future and also digitalisation of records.