New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a status report from Saket district judge about a 20-year-old rape case which is pending in a trial court without any hearing as the files related to it have gone missing. Hearing a PIL about the case which has not moved a step forward since the day accused was granted bail 19 years ago, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain asked the district judge to file the report within one week and posted the matter for January 30.
A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped in Connaught Place by one Karan Pal in June 1993. Though police arrested the accused and filed the charge-sheet in September 1993, during court proceedings the case file went missing and has not been found. The accused was released on bail in February 1994.
The matter came to light after victim's relatives filed an RTI to find the status of the case. In the RTI reply, it was said that the file of the case had been misplaced while the matter was shown as active in police and court records. The PIL alleged that the "file of this case has been lost and the case is pending in the court for the past nearly 20 years and the accused in this case are moving around scot free without any inhibitions for the same amount of time."
It said there was no progress in the case and even after repeated requests to various authorities, the file in the case could not be traced. "The police have shown a very lax and casual approach in this case and in the matter of the file going missing," the PIL seeking retrieval and reconstruction of the case file said.
The plea asked the court to fix the responsibility of Delhi government and police in the disappearance of the file and the person found responsible or guilty may be punished.