The High Court (HC) Wednesday issued a rule asking why the government should not be instructed to formulate rehabilitation policies, and in cases compensations, for rape victims.
Fifteen defendants, including the home secretary, women and children affairs secretary, health secretary, finance secretary, director and chairman of National Legal Aid Services Organization, and inspector general of police, have been asked to respond to the rule within seven days.
After the initial hearing of a writ, the HC bench of Justice Md Mojibur Rahman Mia and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah issued the rule.
Barrister Abdul Halim argued for the writ with lawyers Ishrat Hasan and Shaila Jahan, while Deputy Attorney General Nowroz Mohammad Russell Chowdhury represented the state.
Barrister Halim, also the chairperson of the Children's Charity Foundation, told reporters the foundation filed the writ petition attaching three separate reports on 2 January.
Citing the media reports, he said, "As many as 97% of the rape accused get acquittal. Does that mean 97% of the rapes did not happen? Rather, the acquittals mean the state failed to present enough evidence in those cases."
"Why would the victim take responsibility for that failure? The victim also has self-respect."
Referring to child rape victims, the lawyer said those children could not continue education owing to the fear of further humiliation. "Then where will she go? This is the case where the state should take responsibility. Other countries have rehabilitations for rape victims," added Barrister Halim.