In a significant observation, the Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, observed that it doesn't want an Uttar Pradesh-like situation in Maharashtra, wherein witnesses and even victims of sexual assault cases are killed. The HC ordered the Mira-Bhayander police to provide security to two young men and a woman, who was rescued from a sex racket.
A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Manish Pitale was dealing with the victim's plea that sought protection for herself and two other witnesses in the case.
The victim claimed that she was forced into prostitution by some goons. She claims to have been rescued by two men and, accordingly, a police complaint was lodged.
However, the victim, through her counsel Trupti Bharadi, on Tuesday told the bench, led by Justice Shinde, that she and the two witnesses have received death threats and, thus, need protection.
Having heard the contention, Justice Shinde observed, "We are very much aware of the situation in Uttar Pradesh, where victims and witnesses (of sexual assault cases) are killed. We don't want that situation here in Maharashtra."
The bench, while noting the seriousness of the matter, ordered the police to provide ‘free of cost’ protection to the victim and the witnesses. The bench said that the lives of witnesses and victims of sexual assault cases should not be risked.
The protection, the judges clarified, would continue till further orders.
The bench has further issued a directive to the probe team to submit a detailed report shedding light on the progress of the probe in the case.