The Tripura High Court has taken suo moto cognizance of an incident in which a lady died by suicide after a video showing her in a compromising position was leaked and displayed in public in front of the members of the village community.
A Division bench comprising of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S Talapatra expressed its shock at the barbaric act before it decided to monitor the probe launched by the State Police.
The Court also ordered that the probe should be supervised by the Superintendent of Police, South Tripura.
It further directed the concerned authorities to block the video clip, if still found circulating on WhatsApp.
“It appears that the video clips of the deceased women shown in compromising position may be circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms. The respondents and in particular the respondent No.2 shall ensure that all such circulations are blocked with immediate effect. For such purpose, he shall communicate these directions to the social media platform providers. The investigation shall be supervised and guided by the Superintendent of Police, South Tripura District,” the order passed on Friday said.
On May 6, the Court had taken note of a media report about the suicide of a young lady after she faced humiliation from the villagers.
As per the report, a video recording of the young married lady in an intimate and compromising position with a man was shown in public in front of the members of the community of the village who had allegedly gathered to discuss this issue.
“As if this much humiliation was not enough, going by the news reports, what followed was the grossest possible violation of human rights and extreme humiliation that any human being can be subjected to by fellow human beings through most barbaric acts perpetrated on her,” the court noted in its order of May 6.
Later, when she was not able to bear these insults and humiliation the she committed suicide on May 3 by consuming poison.
The Court said that it will not buy into the news report without thorough verification.
“However, even if a fraction of what is reported is true, it would shock the conscience of any citizen. Under the circumstances, we would like to gather full facts from the State administration,” the order of May 6 stated.
It, therefore, proceeded to make Chief Secretary of Tripura, Director General of Police, Superintendent of Police, South Tripura District and SDPO, Sabroom Police Station as respondents in the case.
The Court then proceeded to seek complete details about the incident from the State administration.
The Court on May 6 also issued the following interim directions:
(i) The respondents shall produce before the Court the status of inquiry so far carried out in relation to the said alleged incident including in relation to the unnatural death of the lady.
(ii) If any photographs or video footages are available of the alleged incident, the same shall be produced before the Court.
(iii) The family members of the deceased woman shall be provided full protection and statements of such family members, if not already recorded, shall be recorded without any further delay.
When the matter was heard again on May 7, Friday, the Advocate General informed the Court that after confirmation of the fact that the lady had committed suicide which was based on the post-mortem report, a formal FIR was registered on May 6.
“The FIR discloses commission of offences punishable under Sections 323, 354, 306 read with Section 34 of IPC. Statements of some of the relatives of the deceased girl have been recorded,” he submitted.
He also assured the Court investigation is being carried out in full earnest and as directed by the Court the family members of the deceased woman are being provided round the clock security.
The Court recorded the Advocate General’s submissions and directed that the matter be listed again on May 17 when the Advocate General has to inform the Court about further development in the investigation.
In particular, he shall provide for the Court’s perusal translated copies of the statements of witnesses so far recorded by the investigating agency, the Court directed.