A Rare Response
Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Tani was rescued on April 14, 2022 from a brothel in Kolkata. She is 16 years old and now lives in a shelter home for her protection and safety. You can read her story here.
In less than three months, Tani’s case has already gone to trial. This is extremely rare! Law enforcement agencies usually spend three months completing an investigation and filing a charge sheet. Even with those steps completed, the length of time for a case to go to trial can vary from six months to several years. Some cases never go to trial. In Tani’s case, the police completed their investigations and filed a charge sheet within one month. This case is progressing so swiftly, Ashwin Rathod (Freedom Firm Program Associate) explains,
“We are witnessing a heightened sense of accountability from the judicial and legal fraternity towards delivering justice speedily to this victim.”
While Freedom Firm rescued Tani, the police arrested six suspects including the brothel managers, brothel owner, trafficker, agent and pimp. Two were granted bail so we are filing an appeal in the High Court to revoke the bail. The other four remain in police custody. They applied for bail multiple times, but we continue fighting these applications.
Last week Tani was in court for her chief examination. The defense team of eight lawyers were present as a public prosecutor confirmed Tani’s police statement. Today, Tani was cross examined by the defense lawyers. We were concerned that these lawyers may try to intimidate and confuse Tani as she shared her testimony. However, Tani stood strong. Without fear or confusion, she gave a clear statement against four of the accused, and on July 25th she will share her statement against the other two.
The Freedom Firm team will continue working to keep these criminals behind bars and secure justice for Tani. We are thankful for this special court in Kolkata that is exclusively hearing cases of crimes against women and children, particularly sexual crimes.