The High Court yesterday issued a rule asking the government to explain in a week why it should not be directed to outline a scheme to ensure compensation for rape victims to make their constitutional right to life effective and meaningful.
In the rule, the court asked the authorities concerned with the government to show causes why their failure to take appropriate steps for rehabilitation of rape victims should not be declared illegal.
It also asked them to reply why they should not be ordered to give adequate compensation to three children of Dinajpur, Rangpur, and Khulna, who were raped in 2017 and last year in separate incidents, and why police should not be directed to produce the medical and investigation reports in connection with the incidents before the court.
Secretaries to the ministries of home, and women and children affairs, health, finance, chairman of National Legal Aid Services Organisation, inspector general of police, commissioners of Rangpur and Khulna metropolitan police, superintendents of Rangpur, Khulna, Dinajpur and officers in charge of police stations concerned of the three districts, where the cases were filed for the rape of the children, have been made respondents to the rule.
The HC bench of Justice Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kamrul Hossain Mollah came up with the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by rights organisation Children Charity Bangladesh Foundation (CCBF) on January 2 this year seeking necessary order to this effect.
During the hearing of the petition, CCBF's lawyer and its Chairman Abdul Halim told the HC bench that around 23,000 women and children have reportedly been the victim of rape and 185 of them were killed after being raped in the last five years.
Around 97 percent accused of such cases got acquitted from the court and therefore the conviction rate in such cases is only three percent, he said, adding that there are Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals in all 64 districts of the country.
The lawyer questioned how the state and judiciary can be happy with the three percent conviction and 97 percent acquittal in the rape cases.
This is nothing but a sheer unnecessary expense on the part of the revenue, he argued.
Lawyer Abdul Halim said the Supreme Court has supervisory power over all tribunals and lower courts and has a constitutional obligation to see whether the trial and investigations of the cases are properly and fairly held so that the conviction for rape is increased.