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Pratik Das, Pune

The Delhi High Court took cognizance of the case of sexual assault of a minor girl by suspended Delhi Government Officer Premoday Khakha and asked the authorities to make sure that the identity of the survivor is not revealed in any manner.

A Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula initiated on its own a public interest litigation (PIL) after taking suo moto cognizance of the incident and also said that the survivor should get protection and compensation.

The police and the counsel for the Delhi Government had informed the Bench that the girl is admitted to a government hospital in New Delhi and her condition is critical.

It has also asked the Department of Women and Child Development of Delhi Government, police, and the Centre to file a report of the matter.

During the hearing, the counsel for the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said that they have also taken cognizance of the matter and there have been certain irregularities in compliance with rules by the authority and said they will file a report.

The suspended officer who allegedly raped her was arrested by the police on August 21 and he is in judicial custody, his wife who is accused of giving the girl medicine is also in judicial custody.

Premoday Khakha had allegedly raped the minor several times between November 2020 and January 2021. She was staying at the residence of the accused, a family friend, after her father passed away in October 2020, the police said.

A case has been registered under the provisions of the POCSO Act and IPC Sections 376 (2) (f) (being a relative, guardian, or teacher of, or a person in a position of trust or authority towards the woman, commits rape on such woman) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to outrage the modesty of a woman), police said.

IPC Sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman’s consent), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) have also been invoked in the case, police said.