For second time, NBW issued against rape victim

Sadaf Modak

A non-bailable warrant was issued against a rape victim for the second time after she failed to remain present before the court on Monday. The

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The court was informed that the victim was unable to come. The court said that despite intimation, the victim had not remained present, which showed that she is ‘avoiding to attend court’, directing for the NBW to be issued. (Representational Image)

warrant was issued against the victim, who had complained of being sexually abused by a policeman in the Saki Naka police chowky in 2015. In August last year, the court had similarly issued an NBW against her after she was not present before the court.

The 33-year old, who resides outside the state, had completed her examination-in-chief by the prosecution in February last year. After the NBW was issued against her in August, she appeared before the court informing it that she had been unwell and hence could not appear for the hearing. The court cancelled the NBW and directed her to remain present for cross-examination. Since then, the victim was present for cross-examination on two occasions in November and December. Due to the presence of multiple defence lawyers for the eight accused in the case, the matter was also kept back due to their non-availability, court records show. On two occasions since, the hearing could not be conducted as the court was on leave.

In October, the victim had sought adjournment due to a religious event and at another time in November she had sent a medical certificate, which stated that she has been directed to rest for a week. The court had then said that her absence was protracting the trial and had said that ‘her behaviour is condemned’. During the last hearing in January, the court was told that the victim is suffering from fever and hence was unable to remain present. The court had then said that necessary order will be passed if she does not remain present on Monday.

The court was informed that the victim was unable to come. The court said that despite intimation, the victim had not remained present, which showed that she is ‘avoiding to attend court’, directing for the NBW to be issued.

In 2015, the victim, a model by profession, and her friend were apprehended by persons claiming to be police officers in Saki Naka area. The two were allegedly taken in a vehicle and were pressurised to pay money claiming that they would be booked for engaging in prostitution. The victim was subsequently taken to the police chowky where accused assistant police inspector, Sunil Khatpe, sexually abused her. So far, 12 witnesses have deposed in the case. The trial is expedited and time-bound by the Bombay High Court.