Taking suo motu note of a letter on posting of two rape videos on WhatsApp, the Supreme Court today asked CBI to launch a probe "forthwith" to nab the culprits and sought responses from the Centre and governments of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Delhi and Telangana.
"The fact of the matter is that it is a very serious issue and something needs to be done," the social justice bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said after going through the contents of the letter written by Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala to Chief Justice of India H L Dattu.
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"Since the first suggestion (of NGO) is for CBI investigation, notice be issued to the Director CBI to register the crime and start investigation with immediate effect," the bench said. The NGO, which provided the videos in a pen drive along with the letter to the CJI, said that one video, which is 4.5 minutes long, shows a man raping a girl while another man is filming the heinous act.
The other video, spanning 8.5 minutes, relates to gangrape of a girl by five culprits who have been shown smiling, cracking jokes, making a video and taking photos while they went about sexually assaulting the victim, it said. The court issued notices to central ministries of Home Affairs and Information Technology and asked the MHA Secretary to "forward the pen drive/DVD" to the CBI Director "forthwith" for the investigation.
The bench said that it has taken "cognisance" of the letter referred to it by the CJI and ordered that a proper petition be filed on March 9. It has now fixed the case for hearing on March 13.
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It issued notice to the states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Delhi after referring to the contents of the rape videos and took note the facts that some of the culprits talk in Bengali accent. The bench also issued notice to Telangana after it was told that no significant progress has been made in a case relating to the attack on the car of one of the office bearers of the NGO who had launched the 'Shame the Rapist' campaign on social networking sites.
Supreme Court orders CBI probe into uploading of sexual violence videos on WhatsApp by some unknown persons.