N Delhi, 1st May, 2012

The Supreme Court today granted interim bail to Seema an 80 percent paraplegic, victim of custodial sexual torture, from Jaipur in Rajasthan. Seemahad been made an accused by the Jaipur Police (District East) in a counter case to hers against the police. Justice CS Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra who heard the matter in the Supreme Court said that Seema was a living corpse and she deserved dignity and not custody. quoting from the order the Judges said that

“Board   of Doctors constituted under the orders of the High Court, a copy whereof has been placed on record.  A perusal of the said report shows that the petitioner is a complete paraplegic. Her left leg has been        amputated above the knee. She has also lost voluntary control of bowel and bladder and is completely dependent for all her activities of daily living. She has permanent disability of more than 80%.         Mr.   Gonsalves   submits    that    keeping   in   view   the medical condition of the petitioner and the fact that she has been in custody for past 63 days, this court could consider granting interim bail to her.Dr. Singhvi, does not seriously oppose that prayer and submits that pending. Final disposal of the petition and filing of objections by the respondent, the court could grant interim bail to the petitioner.   In the circumstances, therefore, we direct that the petitioner shall be released from custody on her furnishing bail bonds in a sum of Rs. 10,000/- with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court This order is only an interim arrangement and shall remain subject to the final outcome of the SLP.  

Seema was represented by senior counsel Colin Gonsalves and the State of Rajasthan was represented by Additional Advocate General Manish Singhvi.

It may be recalled that Seema was sexually abused in police custody on the 23rd of January, 2011 when the police violating all procedures had got her to the police station, in the name of interrogation in a missing case of one of her friends, Hina. Completely shattered by the sexual abuse she threw herself in front of a train next morning on the 24th January,2011 and survived the suicide attempt becoming a paraplegic for life. Following the outrage that followed the policemen were arrested. When Hina, Seema’s friend returned on 4th May 2011, after having spent time in Jadonpur, Mathura and having worked in Agra as a marketing manager in a company, she became a tool in the hands of the police who got her to make statements againstSeema. Seema and her two witnesses of sexual torture were arrested in due course. Seema got arrested on the 29th of February, 2012.

Despite the law on bail which clearly gives powers to police and magesterial courts to grant bail u/s 437 (1) (2) to released on bail “if such person is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm: “ However, in the case of Seema neither did the Investigating officer of the case, who could have released her on bail, nor the magisterial court nor the District court granted her bail. Although she was a fit case of bail at all levels as she can neither escape, nor influence witnesses nor tamper evidence, which are the three dimensions that need to be examined when bail is granted.

Kavita Srivastava                                                          Prem Krishan Sharma

( General Secretary)                                                     ( President)

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