Nobody is safe in Delhi, says anguished High Court
"Nobody is safe here," the Delhi High Court said today as it took suo moto notice of a woman's gangrape in a bus and told Delhi Police to file a report by Friday.
The Delhi government informed the court that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had been set up to investigate the crime to be headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Chhaya Sharma.
The court asked the SIT to file a status report within two days.
Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also directed the government and the police commissioner that investigations "must be of high standard" and concluded "as expeditiously as possible".
Justice Murugesan observed: "Nobody is safe here, it's repeatedly seen in Delhi."
The bench also directed the Delhi government to provide the best possible medical facilities to the victim and her male friend who were attacked in the bus Sunday night.
"Provide best possible treatment to the victim and her friend, shift her to (the) best private hospital if required. And if transfer from hospital is not possible, bring in the best doctor for her," the bench said.
Advocate Najmi Waziri, standing counsel of the Delhi government, told the court that the "woman is in critical condition and the best possible treatment would be given to her".
"If transfer to another hospital is required, we would bring the best doctor to her. We have promised the girl's family best medical treatment for her," the advocate said.
The bench said it would monitor the case, and asked Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar to revert in two days, detailing the names of police officers deployed at checkposts on the night of the incident.
The bus was driven around the city for 40 minutes Sunday night while the rapists committed the crime.
Delhi's standing counsel Pawan Sharma said four of the accused had been arrested, adding police had gone to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in search of two others.
Sharma said police were set to file a chargesheet within a month.
The court observed: "It is the duty of the police to ensure that such incidents do not happen. What was the police force doing while the offenders roamed (the) city streets for 40 minutes?"
The court said it would issue guidelines to be followed in such cases.
The bench pulled up the police for not taking precautions earlier.
"The police commissioner is directed to comply with the Supreme Court order for removing tinted film from vehicles, including public transport systems," the court said.
Waziri told the court that officers faced problems in implementing the Supreme Court order as vehicles from other states had tinted windows.
The bench directed police perosnnel at border checkposts to ensure that no such vehicle entered the city.
Justice Murugesan said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had proposed five fast-tack courts to deal with rape cases. The judge said the proposal was immediately accepted.
He added, however, that unless investigation was conducted properly and witnesses produced during trial, even fast-track courts would not serve any purpose