State's failure to ensure swift justice behind rise in rape: HC

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 11:37, Aug 20, 2019 | Updated : 11:47, Aug 20, 2019

A general view of the Supreme Court building of Bangladesh. File Photo/Sazzad HossainRape cases are on the rise due to the state’s failure to ensure exemplary punishment for the perpetrators, said the High Court.
The court made the observation in a statement after the bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman scrapped the bail plea of two rape suspects on Tuesday (Aug 20).
“Crimes such as rape, especially child rape followed by murder is on the rise,” the statement said.
“The state is mainly responsible for failure to ensure exemplary punishment of the perpetrators and the judiciary isn’t above accountability either,” it added.
The court said that most of the perpetrators are reckless and resort to threatening and pressuring the victim and their families to stop them from testifying.
It added that there are incidents when the victim and the family was forced to withdraw the case through an arbitration passed off as ‘social justice.’
“There is no alternative to drafting a witness protection act. We hope that it will be done soon.”
The court said that significant number cases of rape, child rape often followed by murder are still hanging in the women and children repression prevention tribunals across the country and some cases are as old as four to five years.
“The hearing dates are being changed day after day due to the delay in indictment and failure of the state’s witness to appear in court without valid cause,” it said and added this was happening despite the provision in the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 200, that the case must be disposed within six months after the documents have been lodged in court.