The Hon’ble High Court of Tripura on 19.06.2020 took suo moto cognizance vide Public Interest Petition (WP(C) (PIL) No.06/2020), of a newspaper report apprising about the sale of a poverty-stricken 14-year-old girl into marriage to a man in Rajasthan.

A newspaper report had on 16.06.2020 highlighted the sufferings of a teenage girl, now sheltered at the Swadhara Women Home at Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, pursuant to which Government Advocate representing the State Government and State authorities addressed the Hon’ble High Court on issues raised in the said order. Ms. A. Pujari, Counsel for the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights also addressed the Hon’ble High Court on the same.

According to the newspaper report, the teenager girl was abducted from Tripura and was allegedly sold to a family in Rajasthan due to abject poverty of her family wherein she was raped and rendered pregnant. She was also tested positive for Coronavirus recently.

After taking note of the Respondent’s submissions, the Coram comprising of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra stated that no substantial steps for the victim’s return could be taken until she recovered fully from Coronavirus and thereby directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to meanwhile, coordinate with the State Commissions for Child Protection of Rajasthan as well as the State of Tripura to ensure the safety, health and well-being of the victim.

The Hon’ble High Court also directed the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Tripura as well as the Government authorities to take all necessary steps for ensuring the return of the girl back home as soon as she is cured of Coronavirus and her quarantine period is over.

The Coram further expressed their concern over whether the victim’s family was prepared to take her back, but decided to look upon the matter at a later stage of the trial. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights was then directed to closely monitor the situation and inform the Hon’ble High Court in case the quarantine period of the victim gets over before the next date of hearing i.e. 06.07.2020.

Order:WP(C)(PIL) No.06.2020

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