Rashid Paul

HC orders inquiry by CB into alleged rape in police custody

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Srinagar May 11: In a case of alleged rape of a woman in a police station by cops at Jammu the J&K High Court today directed an inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the complaint by the Crime Branch of J&K Police

While disposing off the case, Justice Sanjeev Kumar observed that he found no reason to interfere with an order of inquiry in to the matter by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) where the matter is pending adjudication.

Justice Kumar directed, “the inquiry directed by the CJM in the matter shall be restricted to ascertainment of the truth or  falsehood of the complaint and the same shall be conducted by an officer of the Crime Branch not below the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police as may be appointed by the IGP Crime, Jammu”.

The inquiry has been directed to be completed and submitted to the CJM on or before 29.06.2019.

The complainant according to the petition wanted an FIR against the police officers and public officials who committed rape on the woman in the police station.

The petitioner had filed a petition before the High Court against an order dated 06.03.2019 by the CJM Jammu wherein the IGP Jammu was directed to conduct an inquiry himself or by any other Police Officer not below the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police in to the complaint.

As per the allegations contained in the complaint filed by the petitioner, a demolition squad lead by the SDM, North, Jammu along with respondent police and public officers demolished the house of the petitioner on 03.08.2018 with the use of JCB, Tipper and Cranes.

The petitioner claimed that not only her house was demolished without any notice or warning, but, she was also manhandled on spot by the senior police officer, who forcibly put her into the Van and took her to the Police Post, Chinore.

She alleged that she was kept in the police post for two nights from 03.08.2018 to 05.08.2018. She was also involved in a false and frivolous case registered against her under Sections 107/151 Cr.PC, she said.

Her further allegations is that on the evening of 03.08.2018, she was shifted to a secluded room behind the main building of the police post and was slapped and molested by police officers and officials who then forcibly committed intercourse with her without her consent.

She was again ravished on the intervening night of 04.08.2018 and 05.08.2018.

The petitioner wanted to get herself medically examined on 05.08.2018, but, was not permitted. She claims to have gone to SMGS Hospital, Jammu for getting herself examined, but, the respondents managed that no such examination takes place in the Hospital.

The petitioner claims to have appeared before the IGP, Jammu on 13.08.2018 during a public hearing and narrated the whole episode and even showed him proof of the official respondents having committed the offence.

The petitioner further alleges that though her grievance was heard by the IGP who forwarded her complaint to the SSP, Jammu but, strangely no FIR was registered against the respondents 5 to 7. The petitioner claims that she made complaint thereafter to all higher authorities including Governor of the State, Home Minister of India, Director General of Police, Border Security Force and Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir Police etc.etc.

The petitioner states that having failed to get an FIR registered against the respondents she filed a complaint before the CJM, Jammu narrating her tale.

The petitioner sought a direction from the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu for registration of FIR against the respondents 5 to 7 for commission of offences under Sections 376/376-C read with Section 34 RPC.

The CJM after going through the complaint directed registration of an FIR under the relevant provisions of law and investigate the matter.

The order was set aside by the High Court on the petition filed by the police respondents. A direction was issued to the Magistrate to record the statement of the complainant and to have relook on the whole matter.

The CJM decided to proceed under Chapter XVI.

The plea of the counsel for the petitioner is that the magistrate has ordered inquiries in to the peripheries of the case without touching the alleged culprits.

While hearing the case today the High Court said the magistrate, in his wisdom, thought it expedient and in the interest of justice to take the cognizance of offence and proceed under Chapter XVI.

“The petitioner has no vested right to claim that once he makes a complaint of facts constituting the cognizable offence to the magistrate, the magistrate must necessarily exercise powers under Section 156(3) Cr.PC and cannot take cognizance  and proceed under Chapter XVI”, the high court said.

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