Sexual violence against minors have to be stopped, the Delhi High Court said today while taking note of the recent spurt in the incidents of sexual assault on minors in the capital. "Let Delhi take the lead in this matter," a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said. The high court took note of news reports regarding sexual assault on a five year old girl inside her school in East Delhi and issued notice to the Delhi government, police and the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) asking them to file an affidavit before September 21. The court decided to initiate proceedings on its own after also noting that Delhi government has ordered suspension of the medical officer for "negligence" in treating the rape survivor. "The reports raise issues of public interest," the bench remarked and said that "there can be nothing more important than the information or report of such crime being brought to the immediate attention of the DSLSA, to enable it to take immediate steps for providing legal aid to the victim as well as compensation". It noted that in the present case, there was intervention by the police.
However, there was no intervention by the DSLSA. The bench said DSLSA interventions are "must" so far as the victims of sexual offence, both adults and children, are concerned. This, while ensuring justice to the victim, will also ensure that the best assistance is available to the police for effectively investigating the crime as well as medical treatment and examination of the victims, it said. "DSLSA shall also ensure that compensation in accordance with the Victim Compensation Scheme, 2015 is henceforth released to the victims at the earliest," it said, adding that it should also inform this court about the status of the release of compensation and legal to the victims.
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