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Rape videos: SC fines Odisha govt for absence of lawyer

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Mar 13:

The Supreme Court today imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the Odisha government for non-appearance of its lawyer in a case related to posting of two rape videos on WhatsApp, despite a notice served on February 27.

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Besides Odisha, the social bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit also imposed a fine on Telangana for not providing details of the progress made by the state police in a case related to an attack on the car of one of the office bearers of the NGO, who had launched the ‘Shame the Rapist’ campaign on social networking sites.

The bench, in its order, asked the Director General of Police (DGPs) of Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal and Delhi Police Commissioner to cooperate with the CBI in catching the culprits in the case.

It also asked CBI to file a status report giving details of probe conducted by it on the next date of hearing.

The apex court took strong exception to the alleged inaction by the Union government even though 20 days had elapsed after a complaint relating to posting of two rape videos on WhatsApp was lodged and asked the CBI to apprehend the culprits who first uploaded them.

The said, “Why you (Ministry of Home Affairs) did not act? You sat over it for over 20 days. You (ASG) please tell us what MHA has been doing.”

The remarks came after the apex court inquired about the action taken by the MHA, which was provided with all the information and rape videos on February 10.

The bench asked the CBI to “find out” the person who had uploaded the sexual assault videos for the first time. The court was informed by the probe agency that it had lodged eight FIRs and one preliminary inquiry into the incident.

“You (CBI) must come hard and pounce upon the person who first uploaded the videos for pleasure of somebody. If you do not catch him, then such incidents will keep happening,” it said.

Besides, the bench then asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, who appeared for MHA and the CBI, to find out as to whether it was possible to catch the person saying, “We are sorry, this should have been done in February itself.”

The apex court had taken suo motu note of the letter on posting of two rape videos on WhatsApp and had asked CBI to launch a probe to nab the culprits immediately.

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