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Support for rape victim failed by courts in UK & India

Support for rape victim failed by courts in UK & India

PRESS RELEASE: Tulip Siddiq, MP & Fay Maxted OBE support rape victim pressurised in Delhi court to “settle” her rape case after her entire complaint was leaked in London Court case and she was cross examined on it.

A British Indian woman, “Shailly” (not her real name*) has been seriously failed by UK and Indian Courts.   Shailly reported rape against a lawyer acting for her and her mother in civil case in India involving family members.  The lawyer is connected to the Dwarka Bar Association.  Shailly says when she appeared in court in India, it was packed with his supporters and associates to intimidate her.

Shortly afterwards, the rape complaint was disclosed by the family members in unrelated civil court proceeding in a London Court.  Despite protests, Shailly and her elderly disabled mother were cross-examined about the rape case by the barrister acting for the family members.  Shailly feels openly harassed in UK Courts and asked Fay Maxted OBE to attend as her McKinsey friend.

Systematic failures have prevented Shailly from seeking redress or safeguarding the rape trial taking place in India and her evidence in the case has been delayed.

Before the hearing of the civil case in India, Tulip Siddiq, MP, contacted the British High Commission to request their presence in court in India, and Fay Maxted OBE wrote to the Lord Chancellor requesting a reply to Shailly’s complaints about failure in the UK courts to protect her right to anonymity.  

On the first day of the hearing for the rape case in Delhi, the Defendant’s lawyer attempted to pressurise Shailly into agreeing a lengthy adjournment to “settle” her rape case in front of the Judge, referring to the London case.

Initially, the British High Commission applied to attend her evidence hearings, but Ed Bossley, consulate in Delhi, says:

“ …the judge has made it abundantly clear in this case that he will not allow a third party inside the court (having denied us twice now).”

Fay Maxted OBE says:

“Shailly has bravely fought for her right to anonymity to be upheld and for there to be a just process in hearing the case in Delhi.  Because of the political connections of the Defendant, Shailly is fearful for her safety when she returns to Delhi to give evidence.   Shailly says the Defendant has now approached other witnesses.  The pressure of giving evidence in a rape trial is tremendous and victims deserve to feel safe and that there will be a fair trial.  Tulip Siddiq MP has again written to the British High Commission ahead of Shailly returning to Delhi to complete her evidence, and I sincerely hope they will be able to protect her.”

*Indian newspapers refer to her as “Shailly” 

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