A special court here on Wednesday (September 4) sought the Delhi High Court’s permission to hold in-camera proceedings at AIIMS for recording the statement of the 2017 Unnao rape survivor after doctors said it was “not advisable” to bring her to the court premises.
District judge Dharmesh Sharma informed the Registrar General of the high court that, though the CBI and the rape survivor and her family have “no objection” to such a deposition, the counsel for the accused, the expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar and co-accused Shashi Singh, opposed it.
“In continuation to request already sent to the Registrar General of the high court yesterday, let a copy of this order be also sent to the Registrar General that in terms of Section 9(6) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the accused persons and their counsel are not agreeable to the deposition suggested by the court.”
“The counsel for the CBI and the complainant however have no objection to such deposition. Accordingly, this court is seeking permission for necessary notification under Section 9(6) of the CrPC from the high court in this regard,” the court said.
According to Section 9(6) of the CrPC if, in any particular case, the court of session is of opinion that it will tend to the general convenience of the parties and witnesses to hold its sittings at any other place in the sessions division, it may, with the consent of the prosecution and the accused, sit at that place for the disposal of the case or the examination of any witness or witnesses therein.
The court was hearing the case of alleged kidnapping and rape of the woman in 2017, when she was a minor. She is currently admitted at the hospital following an accident on July 28.
Senior Public Prosecutor Ashok Bhartendu said, considering the medical condition of the rape survivor, it was not advisable to bring her to court premises. The counsel of the woman and her mother, advocate Dharmendra Mishra, also said that there were certain injuries which might pose difficulty in deposing before the court.
However, advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir, appearing for Sengar, told the court that the MLA was not agreeable to give consent for such a deposition unless it was assured that the woman has proper cognitive faculties to understand the question put to her and give coherent answers.
“It is urged that the medical status of the survivor be ascertained in this regard least it should not lead to a situation where the defence feels helpless in case the victim shows signs of not understanding the questions put to her due to her medical condition and/or medication,” Mir said.
He further told the court that Sengar and the co-accused have regard to the medical condition of the woman and were willing to give consent to expedite the trial but currently they were reluctant to give consent to hold trial and examine the survivor in the premises of Trauma Centre, AIIMS.
The counsel of both the accused said that she should rather be examined when she was properly oriented, conscious and free from any kind of medical complications. To this, the court asked for the medical report from the Investigation Officer of the CBI.
The CBI told the court that the Medical Superintendent and the doctor attending the rape survivor at the Trauma Centre said “she was out of danger as per her medical condition”. “She is fit for statement. Regarding deposition for long hours in the court, it is not advisable to bring her to the court premises. The deposition of the survivor can be done from the hospital premises if deemed fit by the court,” the medical report submitted by AIIMS stated.
Following this, the counsel for the accused again opposed the suggestion that the statement of the woman be recorded at the hospital, saying they did not agree to shifting of the trial for recording of the testimony of the victim to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the court also recorded the statement of the uncle of the rape survivor during in-camera proceedings. The court had earlier framed charges against the MLA and Singh for allegedly kidnapping and raping the woman in 2017.