‘Magistrate Perceived Her Disoriented State of Mind as a Personal Affront’: Lawyers From Across The Country Appeal to Patna HC CJ To Intervene in Remand of Rape Survivor
A group of lawyers from across the country have written a letter to the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court, pressing on the need for urgent and systemic changes in the treatment of survivors of violent sexual crimes in the Araria District Court, Bihar. The letter has been written in the backdrop of a ‘disturbing incident’ whereby a Judicial Magistrate remanded a gang rape victim and her two caregivers into custody, allegedly after perceiving her disoriented state of mind as a personal affront, while recording her statement under Section 164 of CrPC. The survivor and her care givers have been booked under also under Section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), Section 228 (Intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding) and Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC. While the latter two offences are bailable, the lawyers have expressed that the allegation of ‘assault or use of criminal force’ on the Magistrate seems “most implausible”. The letter has been endorsed by 376 lawyers.