Bengal rape victim’s kin want prosecutors changed

Kolkata, Sep 4: The family of a rape and murder victim in West Bengal Wednesday approached the chief justice of India (CJI) seeking the removal of public prosecutors handling the case.

In their letter addressed to the CJI as well as the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court and the state law minister, the family from North 24 Parganas district expressed its unhappiness over the way the public prosecutors had been pursuing the case.

Referring to the recent incident of gang rape of a photo journalist in Mumbai where the Maharashtra government named Ujjwal Nikam, who successfully prosecuted the case against Mumbai terror attack accused Ajmal Kasab, as the public prosecutor in the rape case, the West Bengal rape victim’s family raised questions on why inexperienced lawyers had been appointed in their case.

The family also accused the public prosecutors of “not opposing the arguments of the defence counsel”.

Nine people were named in the chargesheet on the June 7 crime. Eight accused are in judicial custody.

The high court earlier ordered that the case be shifted from a fast-track court in the district to a city court presided over by a woman judge but the family through its counsel filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the order.

The Mamata Banerjee government has received criticism over its handling of the case. While Banerjee was criticised for rebuking protestors who demanded the death penalty for the rapists, a court earlier slammed the criminal investigation department for its “shoddy” investigation.

IANS