Court sits in AIIMS, records Un­nao rape victim’s state­ment

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Front Page - Anonna Dutt

NEW DELHI: A tem­po­rary court was con­vened in­side the All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sci­ences (AIIMS) trauma cen­tre in New Delhi on Wed­nes­day to record the tes­ti­mony of the Un­nao rape sur­vivor, with le­gal ex­perts wel­com­ing the un­prece­dented step that was taken to fa­cil­i­tate day-to-day pro­ceed­ings in the sen­si­tive case.

The in-cam­era pro­ceed­ings started at 10am and went on for roughly eight hours. Only lawyers, se­lect doc­tors and top of­fi­cials were al­lowed in­side the court, presided over by judge Dharmesh Sharma.

Two of the ac­cused, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leg­is­la­tor Kuldeep Singh Sen­gar and his as­so­ciate Shashi Singh, were also brought to the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Cen­tre, AIIMS, where the woman is presently ad­mit­ted fol­low­ing a car-truck col­li­sion on July 28, in which Sen­gar is one of the prime suspects. The woman has also ac­cused Sen­gar of rap­ing her in 2017.

An of­fi­cial said on con­di­tion of anonymity that the two ac­cused were present be­hind a cur­tain in the same room. The Delhi high court last week ap­proved record­ing the sur­vivor’s state­ment at AIIMS. “It is a very sen­si­tive case and no one was al­lowed to go in­side the tem­po­rary court. All the arrangemen­ts re­quested for by the court, like switch­ing off the CCTV cam­eras in­side the room, have been fol­lowed,” said a doctor from the hos­pi­tal on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The doc­tors ar­ranged for a stretcher in­side the tem­po­rary court to al­low her to lie down in be­tween pro­ceed­ings.

“There are sev­eral cases in which the state­ments are recorded by the mag­is­trate in the hos­pi­tal, but hav­ing an en­tire court­house be­ing set up in the hos­pi­tal, this has never happened be­fore. I have never seen any­thing like this in all the years that I have worked here,” said a sec­ond hos­pi­tal of­fi­cial.

Judge Sharma de­cided to con­tinue the day-to-day hear­ing from Wed­nes­day till the time the tes­ti­mony is con­cluded. The spe­cial court also stated the pro­ceed­ings would be held in-cam­era and no other pub­lic per­son would be al­lowed to en­ter the court with­out per­mis­sion. The woman is likely to be cross-ex­am­ined on Thurs­day.

A first doctor quoted above said the sur­vivor was well and on medication.

“That is why her state­ment is be­ing recorded now. All the ma­jor pro­ce­dures for fix­ing the or­thopaedic in­juries are al­ready over,” he added.

AMAL KS/HT PHOTO

Se­cu­rity per­son­nel out­side the AIIMS trauma cen­tre in New Delhi on Wed­nes­day.

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