A member of the National Commission for Women on Saturday asked why action cannot be taken in the alleged Baran rape case in Rajasthan even if the girls went out with the accused on their own, saying consent does not matter when minors are involved.
Two minor sisters of Baran district went missing on September 19 and were found in Kota on September 22. After recording their statements, girls were handed over to their families.
According to police, both the girls in their statements made it clear that they were not raped and had gone to Kota on their own without being forced.
"I saw the chief minister's statement that the girls in their statement admitted that they had gone with their own will, but a legal point arises here because the girls are minor and minor's consent is not a consent in the language of law," Rajulben Desai, member of the commission, told reporters.
"Why can't we take action in this case?" she asked.
On Thursday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had hit out at a section of the opposition and media for "misleading" the public by comparing an incident in Baran district of the state to the gruesome gang-rape of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras.
Ms Desai, along with another NCW member Shyamala S Kundar, was in the city to meet the DGP and other officials to discuss the cases of violence against women.
When asked about the NCW's stand on the Hathras case in Uttar Pradesh, Desai said the commission had taken a cognisance of the matter when the girl was admitted to Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi.
"The commission held a video conference with the DGP and also wrote to the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh over the issue," she said.
When asked why the members of the commission decided to visit Rajasthan instead of Hathras, she said, "We have girls alive here and we do not want that what happened there should take place here also. We will go to other states as well."
Shyamala S Kundar said the commission received 764 complaints last year and 61 of them are related to rape and attempt to rape.
She said the Rajasthan Police is yet to submit action-taken reports in 55 of the 61 cases.
"We raised the matter with the DGP and he has assured us that the ATRs will be submitted soon," Ms Kundar said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)