An American woman who was sexually assaulted in New Delhi in 2013 posted a video on Facebook last week, condemning the bail granted to the accused, and vowing that she would appeal to the High Court or even the Supreme Court of India, The Indian Express reported on Saturday. She shot the video outside the Indian consulate in San Francisco.
The convict, Raj Panwar, was in February sentenced to seven years in jail by a Delhi court. The court had imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh and directed that the amount be paid to the complainant. However, on July 5, Justice Chander Shekhar of the Delhi High Court granted Panwar bail.
“Last month, I was notified that the man who viciously attacked me, who I had to fight to make sure he was convicted of his crime and sentenced in India, has been given bail on his appeal,” she said in the video. “This man broke into my apartment and attacked me. I fought, I went to India to testify – all by myself... He was sentenced for [seven] years in prison and then on his appeal…a corrupt judge, no, who?...gave him bail.” She also accused Indian authorities of not doing much to help her.
The complainant said the Indian consulate in San Francisco had denied her assistance. She said she was told to get some forms notarised. “Now [in] San Francisco, they tell me now that I need to go and get it notarised locally, then have to go to Sacramento [California] and get the notary verified,” she said. The complainant said she would have to spend thousands of dollars of her own money to travel just because the court let her assaulter out on bail.
“India’s incredible corruption and lack of support for women that are attacked is continuing,” she exclaimed. “They refuse to help me, yet say they want to stop violence against women in their own country.”
“All my friends, I need your help….We are going to take this to the Supreme Court, to the high court of India,” the complainant said. “You do not let convicted criminals off when victims were brave enough to go and testify. I need your help.”
The consulate responded, according to The Indian Express: “Our deepest sympathies and our support are with you. As you know, all attestations were provided the same day after you spoke to the Consulate officials and we waived the requirements of the Hague Convention that requires apostilling [attestation in which documents are legalised in a particular format that is acceptable in all nations] of legal documents. We hope you obtain the justice you seek and deserve at the earliest.”