Court sends gang-rape survivor to jail for contempt;  376 lawyers seek her release

The Patna High Court is expected to hear a joint petition filed by 376 lawyers from different parts of the country seeking the early release of a gang-rape survivor and two of her well-wishers. They had been remanded in judicial custody a few days ago, for contempt of court and for causing a disruption in the working of the court.

The letter petition signed by Prashant Bhushan,Indira Jai Singh,Vrinda Grover and other lawyers from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Patna and Araria demanded the urgent intervention of the chief justice of Patna High Court in the case.

They said that the 22-year-old woman was made to give her statement, recorded under section 164, in a disoriented mind. The Judicial Magistrate, they said, did not understand her fragile state when she pressed for the re-recording of her statement in the presence of two of her well wishers.

The magistrate first sent them to police custody and then to judicial custody at Bihar's Dalsinghsarai, which is around 240 kilometers from Araria.

The lawyers said that she was also not tested for COVID-19, even though she had alleged that she was gang raped.

The lawyers said that contempt of court proceedings had been started against her and two others, even though the judicial magistrate has no power to initiate contempt of court proceedings.

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