New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday took suo motu cognizance of the case involving the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl by a suspended Delhi government official named Premoday Khakha and his wife, who reportedly gave her medicine to terminate her pregnancy.
Photo Credit : IANS
Additional Sessions Judge (POCSO) Richa Parihar of Tis Hazari Courts had on August 23 extended their judicial custody by 14 days.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula took suo motu cognizance, and listed the matter for next hearing on September 14.
During the hearing, the court asked the Delhi Police to file a status report and ensure the protection of the minor’s identity and prevent any disclosure.
The Delhi Police apprised the court about the critical health condition of the young victim, who is currently hospitalised. They mentioned that she experienced a seizure as recently as Sunday.
The bench sought a status report from the Delhi government’s Women and Child Development Department also.
The counsel appearing for the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights told the court that the body has taken cognizance of the incident and that it will also file a response in the matter.
Both Khakha and his wife Seema Rani were produced separately before Duty Metropolitan Magistrate Katyayini Sharma Kandwal on August 22, who sent them to one-day judicial custody.
On August 21, the Delhi Police had arrested 51-year-old Khakha, who has been suspended as deputy director in the Women and Child Development department of Delhi government, and his wife after questioning them for several hours at their residence. The move came after the victim recorded her statement before a magistrate at a city hospital.
The couple is a resident of Shakti Enclave in the Burari area. The accused allegedly raped the victim repeatedly between 2020 and 2021. A police source said the accused kept on raping the minor daughter of his friend for months, during which his wife also allegedly assisted him.
“As his wife also aided him in the act and did not report the matter to the police, we have added Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) in the FIR against his wife,” said the police source.
“The most shocking part is that when the victim got pregnant, she was threatened with dire consequences by the accused. When the accused narrated the matter to his wife, instead of helping the victim, the woman sent her son to buy abortion pills, which she gave to the victim,” the source said.
A case has been registered under the relevant sections of the POCSO Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the accused, the police said.
The victim had met the accused at a church. Later, after befriending the girl, the accused took her to his house on the pretext of helping her. In 2020, the father of the victim passed away, after which she went into depression.