Letter from Lawyers to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Patna High Court and other Hon’ble Judges

To

Hon’ble the Chief Justice of Patna High Court and other Hon’ble Judges:

Subject: Need for urgent and systemic changes in the treatment of survivors of violent sexual crimes in the Araria District Court.

Lordships:

We, the undersigned are lawyers practicing in different places across the country, who also believe in creating a robust criminal justice system, which is responsive to the needs of survivors of violent sexual crimes. We have received news of a very disturbing incident in distant Araria, and involving a 22-year-old, who was violently gang-raped on July 6th, and her two caregivers/friends. While recording her S.164 statement on July 10th, the learned magistrate perceived her disoriented state of mind as a personal affront and remanded her (and her two caregivers) into custody for contempt of court. The three have been remanded into judicial custody in Dalsinghsarai Jail, about 240Kms from Araria. The survivor’s details, including her father’s name and full address have also been disclosed in the local press. The news reports cite the Court staff as having provided the details.

At this stage, we submit that even without going into the various versions of the event that will invariably be brought before your Lordships, there is a need to infuse the incident with some sensitivity and view it from that perspective: it was the fourth day since the incident of gangrape. The survivor ‘A’ was completely distraught and also very disoriented. She was not eating or sleeping, and also in physical pain. In the course of the four days, she had had to repeat her experience to sundry personnel, often only for voyeuristic purposes. She had been totally dependent, emotionally, on her caregivers since the incident, and they were also traumatized and exhausted. We respectfully submit that any perceived disrespect must be viewed from this perspective. Victims and their caregivers deserve extra care and sensitivity.

Rather than understanding the fragile state of the three people, they were first remanded to police custody. It may be pointed out that no Covid test was conducted on the survivor, even though she had been gang-raped by several strangers. Within hours, and while the three were in police custody, exaggerated accounts of what had transpired during the proceedings were reported on electronic media, together with complete details about the survivor, including her father’s name and her complete address. Shockingly, one such report also carries a photograph of the reporter sitting in the filing section and inspecting her file, with the court clerk and other staff looking on. [Annexure A]

The Reports published on July 11th in the local papers also state that no FIR has yet been filed in the ‘contempt case’.  It was only at around 12:30PM on July 11th that two witnesses were asked to sign on a blank arrest memo and they were informed that FIR no. 61/2020, ArariaMahila Thana, had been filed under the Contempt of Courts Act, which is not applicable to the magistrate’s court; also under S.353 of the IPC (which is most implausible, even if we accept the facts at face value that the survivor had repeatedly demanded that the S.164 statement be read out to her by her caregiver and not by the learned magistrate since she could not understand him); Ss. 228 and 188 (both bailable). The three were produced in court and remanded into judicial custody to the District Jail in Dalsinghsarai, 240Kms away.

We submit that the remand into judicial custody is excessive and harsh given the circumstances. The survivor’s emotional state is extremely fragile and we fear that the separation from her caregivers and incarceration will have an adverse affect on her health.

It has also resulted in the original case pertaining to gangrape (FIR 59/2020, ArariaMahila Thana) having been put on the backburner, while all attention is focused on the alleged contempt. In popular perception too, the survivor is being maligned: ‘if she is ‘bold’ enough to raise her voice at the magistrate, then of course she is ‘bold’ enough to invite attention’. We pray that your Lordships intervene into the matter as it displays a complete lack of sensitivity to a victim of violent sexual crime and to her caregivers.

Signed by,

Sl.No.NameCity/ Place of practice
1Sr Adv Indira JaisingDelhi Supreme Court of India
2Adv Prashant BhushanNew Delhi
3Adv Vrinda GroverDelhi
4Sr Adv Rebecca JohnDelhi
5Sr Adv Mukul TalwarNew Delhi
6Sr Adv Basant Kumar ChoudharyPatna High court
7Adv N D PancholiDelhi
8Adv Ashok AgarwalDelhi
9Sr Adv Gayatri SinghBombay High Court
10Adv Samir Ali KhanNew Delhi
11Adv Veena GowdaMumbai
12Adv Shomona KhannaSupreme Court of India
13Adv Amit Anand TiwariSupreme Court of India
14Adv Sumita HazarikaNew Delhi
15Adv Susan AbrahamMumbai
16Adv Rachana Joshi IssarDelhi
17Adv Roma MalikNew Delhi
18Adv Indira UnninayyarDelhi / High Court / Supreme Court / Trial Courts
19Adv Anubha RastogiMumbai
20Adv Poonam KaushikDelhi District courts
21Adv Flavia AgnesMumbai
22Adv Vasudha NagrajHyderabad
23Adv Sheela RamanathanBangalore
24Adv MaharukhAdenwallaMumbai
25Adv Nousheen YousufMumbai
26Adv Nabeela TareenSrinagar
27Adv Nanita SharmaNew Delhi
28Adv Stanley JohnTrivandrum
29Adv Vinay K SreenivasaBangalore
30Adv Maitreyi KrishnanBangalore
31Adv Raghavendra KumarDelhi
32Adv Lara JesaniMumbai
33Adv Mangla VermaNew Delhi
34Adv Cheryl D’SouzaDelhi
35Adv Apar GuptaDelhi
36Adv PyoliSwatijaDelhi
37Adv Piyush Kumar PandeyAdvocate on Record, Patna High Court
38Adv Bijaya ChandaAlipore Court, West Bengal
39Adv Shalini GeraHigh Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur
40Adv Isha KhandelwalBombay
41Adv Nikita AgarwalNew Delhi
42Arunima BhattacharjeeNew Delhi
43Anand DarshanNew Delhi
44Bulbul DasNew Delhi
45Mary Mitzy MayneNew Delhi
46Nazia ParveenNew Delhi
47Omanakuttan K KNew Delhi
48Adv Payal GaikwadNew Delhi
49Ishita YaduLucknow
50Raja Rabbi HussainNew Delhi
51Veena GowdaMumbai
52Shahab AhmadNew Delhi
53Bhoomika D. PandhareThane
54Eklavya VasudevNew Delhi
55Burjis ShabirNew Delhi
56Adv Ekta VermaNew Delhi
57Tanya SharmaNew Delhi
58Amit kumarNew Delhi
59Remya RajNew Delhi
60AyushNew Delhi
61Chandan KumarNew Delhi
62Dipika SahaniMumbai
63Bharathan ChandrasekaranDelhi University
64DhananjayVaranasi
65Sagarika ParabMumbai
66Priyamwada SinhaNew Delhi
67Abdul Gaffar AdvocateDelhi
68Raghav KackerDelhi
69Kumaresh TrivediAhmedabad
70ShailzaChandigarh
71Prachi JainDelhi
72Amala DasarathiNew Delhi
73Abu NasarPatna High Court
74Khushboo PareekNew Delhi
75Annie JainGuwahati/Bombay
76Nand Kumar SagarPatna
77Prajwal K AradhyaBangalore
78Samhita MehraMumbai
79Sangram ChinnappaBombay
80Bhakta PatnaikMumbai
81AditiHimachal Pradesh
82Priyanka shuklaBilaspur, Chhattisgarh
83Pranav aroraDelhi
84ZarifNoida
85Rachna Bahadur AdvocateNew Delhi
86Afreen KhanMumbai
87PhilarisaNongpiurNew Delhi
88Rashmi PriyaMumbai
89AnunayarshDelhi
90VidushiSoodChandigarh
91Adv Rahul ShrivastavaM P Highcourt, Jabalpur
92PujaNew Delhi
93Poorna RBangalore
94Reena RaoDelhi
95Sneh LataDelhi
96Shivani PurohitNew Delhi
97Shreshtha DasDelhi
98Namrata KabraMaharashtra and Goa
99Rudrajit GhoshDelhi NCR
100Deo Narayan SenAraria
101Ashok MishraAraria
102Geeta SajjanshettyKalaburagi
103Arun KunarAraria
104Divya Jyoti SenAraria
105Ananya MukherjeeDelhi
106Akshansh AnkitPatna
107Nidhi RaniMumbai
108Rajni SorenBilaspur, Chhattisgarh High Court
109Syed Tabeer RiyazDelhi
110IshaniNew Delhi
111Pranav MenonAdvocate, Delhi
112Ad. Suresh rathaurVaranasi
113Rakesh ShuklaDelhi
114TanviDelhi-NCR
115SandhyaDelhi
116PoorvaChandigarh
117Muskan SinghalChandigarh
118Liz MathewNew Delhi
119ShobhaDelhi
120Divya SrinivasanDelhi
121Agam SharmaNew Delhi
122Amber FatmiDelhi
123Surya SanjayBangalore
124AbhitiDelhi
125Anupradha Singh, AdvocateSupreme Court of India, Delhi
126HarshadDelhi
127ZarifNoida
128Dushyant XDelhi
129Piyush RanjanPatna/Patna High Court
130Shivani MamgainUttarakhand
131Jeevika SDelhi
132Rahul MauryaDelhi
133Alpana malikNew delhi
134Disha KharbandaNew Delhi
135Disha WadekarDelhi
136Gayatri SumanBilaspur ,chattisgarh
137Shubhangi SinghLucknow
138Mohammad Saad KhanHigh Court of Delhi
139Abeera DubeyMumbai
140QaseemLucknow
141Shalu NigamDelhi
142Rustam KuraishiDelhi
143KartaviDelhi
144Ishwarinishad advocateMahasamund
145ShraddhaHyderabad
146ShrutiDelhi
147Tanika ChandnaDelhi
148WarishaFarasatNew delhi
149Siddhartha BasuDelhi/Bangalore
150ShantanuDelhi
151Harsh ParasharNew Delhi
152Soumya MehrotraDelhi
153SohailDelhi
154Kamlesh Kumar MishraSupreme court of India
155Aarushi mahajanDelhi
156Adv Priyanka singhDelhi,Saket court
157Amita josephNew delhi
158SHYNA P AHigh Court of Kerala
159Kshatrshal RajDelhi/Supreme Court of India
160Ritika chatterjeeKarnataka
161Irshaan S. KakarNew Delhi/ Chandigarh
162Nishant KumarPatna and Delhi
163Rachita PadwalMumbai
164Kunal tiwaryPatna high court
165Nayantara RoyDelhi
166Alka vermaPatna high court
167Ranjana VohraDelhi
168Saptashwa SinghPatna High Court
169Pulkit PrakashNew Delhi
170DevThrissur
171Shubhashish SharmaMUMBAI
172Aishwarya NabbDelhi
173LubnaNaazSupreme Court of India, Delhi
174HarleenkaurNew Delhi and Punjab
175Vivek MenonMumbai
176Parijata BhardwajDelhi
177Devika.SChennai
178AditiMumbai
179Abhishek Nath TripathiNew Delhi
180UjjainiChatterjiDelhi and Bombay
181A.J. JawadMadras High Court
182R VigneshwarMadras HC
183Adv Mini MathewMumbai
184Leena MenghaneyNew Delhi
185Vishal BhatiaDelhi
186Shiv BansalDelhi
187Rahul BeruarDelhi
188Rudrajyoti Nath RayNew Delhi, Kolkata
189Snigdha TiwariHigh Court Nainital
190Karishma MariaNew Delhi
191P C TewariAlmora
192Chandni ChawlaMumbai
193Malavika ParthasarathyBangalore
194Nikita SonavaneBhopal
195Ameya BokilBhopal
196RadhikaDelhi
197Wasif Rahman KhanPatna high court
198Ankit KulkarniBombay High Court
199Talib MustafaPatna/ High Court of Judicature at Patna
200DeepikaFaridabad
201Adv Santosh Kumar YadavPatna civil court
202MonikaDelhi
203Runjun DuttaLaw Student
204Hemant IngleMumbai
205S.MeenakshiChennai
206Anshuman UpadhyayDelhi
207Sayed Imran GhaniCivil court patna
208Zaman AliMumbai
209Aditi GuptaNew Delhi
210Mohit SinghDELHI
211Mitul Singh RanaHoshiarpur
212Siddharth SeemNew Delhi
213Gayatri SharmaDelhi
214Kumar Shashank ShekherDelhi
215Anne PanickerMumbai
216Lousy GeorgeChennai
217Prarthna NandaMumbai
218SaumyaDelhi
219Anuj kumarroyCivil court hazaribag
220Adv Khemchand R KoshtiGuj. High Court, Ahmedabad
221Brijesh Jasvantray TrivediAhmedabad
222Saurabh BishwambharPatna High Court
223Radhika KolluruDelhi High Court
224Meera SanghamitraHyderabad
225Kamal KishorPatna
226Brajesh KumarDelhi
227Nawal kishorKoderma
228Md Modassir ShamsPatna
229Nishant SirohiNew Delhi
230A P JosySakti, Dt Janjgir-Champa, Chhattisgarh
231Saumya MaheshwariDelhi
232Deepak SinghDelhi High Court
233Prathibha SDelhi
234Tarun AgarwalNew Delhi
235Anoop KumaranThrissur, Keralam
236RomaNew Delhi
237Anupam KirtiDelhi
238Malar GPDelhi
239GovindDelhi
240Sumeet Kumar singhPatna High Court
241Anurag BindalNew Delhi
242Shivangi RaiNew Delhi
243Manali SinghalDelhi
244Nandini MitraHigh Court at Calcutta
245Aditya KumarNew Delhi
246Adv Savita AliSession Court Patna
247MohdShaqir HussainJammu
248MadhurimaKolkata
249Dharmendra Kumar MishraDelhi
250P. KumarDelhi.
251Renuka SahuNew Delhi
252Angkit BharadwajGuwahati
253LiyiNew Delhi
254Manshi JaiswalLucknow
255Ritika chatterjeeKarnataka
256PraavitaDelhi
257Somesh Chandra JhaDelhi
258PriyankaPatna
259SachinDelhi
260Bharti AliNew Delhi
261Manju SharmaPatna High Court
262Aryan BatraKolkata
263Ritika chatterjeeKarnataka
264Iman Calcuttawala (Ms.)Mumbai/Bombay High Court
265AnuvindaNew Delhi
266Ankur Gulyani PandaNew Delhi
267Adv. Ijas MuhammedKottayam
268Preeti DashDelhi
269Megha MehtaBombay
270Ritika chatterjeeKarnataka
271NS TanviChennai
272Aarushi mahajanDelhi
273SayantiKolkata
274Harsh BoraNew Delhi
275Adv. Suraj SanapBombay
276Ashish KumarDelhi
277Adv Nasreen KhanCalcutta High Court
278Shreyashi SharmaDelhi
279SagrikaSemwalDelhi
280RudrakshDelhi
281NikhileshMumbai
282Adv Sheik Moulali BashaSupreme Court Of India
283Aman GolechhaMumbai
284ShashwatDelhi
285Persis SidhvaMumbai
286Aniket AggarwalNew Delhi
287Ashutosh Kumar MishraDelhi
288Sukriti KhuranaNew Delhi
289KezhosanoKikhiKohima
290Sindhu SaikrishnanBangalore
291Adv Jacinta SaldanhaMumbai
292Sumi Ann VarkeyKottayam
293Mansi SoodDelhi
294FarhatMumbai
295VishnuDelhi
296Nishant SirohiNew Delhi
297AvaniChokshiBangalore
298Pradeep MandhyanMumbai
299Kaustubh GidhMumbai
300Adv Akhil JoshiDelhi
301Vivekananda NIndia
302HaridyaDelhi
303Radhika KolluruDelhi High Court
304Mandeep singhChandigarh
305SiddharthaDelhi
306Renu MishraLucknow
307Asha singhGurgaon
308PreranaPriyanshuChennai
309Adv. Shruti NarayanDelhi
310SteffiMumbai
311Asha RodiyalMumbai
312A.J. JawadMadras High Court
313Margaret DsouzaMumbai
314Adv.Mallika VermaMumbai
315RUKHSANA CHOUDHURYDELHI
316Deependra Kumar MishraPratapgarh
317JacquelineMumbai
318Nupur RautMumbai
319PayoshiBombay
320Ragini AMumbai
321Adv. Jahangir AlamDelhi
322Yuvraj RathoreNew Delhi
323Babu K YKanyakumari
324Ranvir SinghDelhi
325Adv. Chitra SundarMumbai
326IpshitaBhuwaniaMumbai
327Adv Shivani BhateMumbai
328Naomi ChandraNew delhi
329Adv. SheebapaulMumbai
330K. PadmaVisakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
331Anupchand K MinjGuwahati
332Adv Ritu RajkumariNew Delhi
333Adv. Mani GuptaNew Delhi
334Prerna RajDelhi
335Som Dutta SharmaDelhi
336Adv Richa vermaDelhi
337Adv Payal GaikwadDelhi
338Theresia ParakkadanMumbai
339IkshakuBezbaroaBangalore
340ShantanuDelhi
341Adv. Kokila ParmarDelhi
342Adv. Roshni shahNashik
343Anjana GosainNew Delhi
344Shalini NairNew Delhi
345Kirti SinghDelhi
346Shubham KaushalMumbai
347Tanvi maneMumbai
348NarenderDelhi
349Adv K. GayatriPune
350Vivek MenonMumbai
351Harleen SinghNew Delhi
352Bidisha MahantaAssam
353ArulBangalore
354MV SwaroopChennai
355UrmiChudgarDelhi
356Manishaa ThakurDelhi
357Adv Kriti KakkarDelhi
358Sudha AmbasthaPatna High Court
359Milinda SharmaNew Delhi
360ClaraGuwahati
361Aditi KumarNew Delhi
362Shashibala VermaPatna High Court
363Sumita KapilNew Delhi
364Pushpa SinhaPatna High Court
365Rahul VardhanMumbai
366NalinuDelhi
367Fidel SebastianDelhi
368Rohan SethDelhi
369Irfan EngineerMumbai
370Kruthika NSBengaluru
371OlullahLaskarGuwahati
372Adv Kaushik GuptaKolkata
373Sarada MaheshBengaluru
374Anirban TarafderKolkata
375Md. AlauddinBarrackpore Court, Kolkata
376Falakyar AskariThe High Court of Judicature at Patna

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