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Apex court slams cops over assault on women

New Delhi, April 25, 2013, DHNS: 1:41 IST

...if Gandhi had to be born now, how many deaths would he die

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed anguish over the increasing police brutality and sought explanation from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments over men-in-khaki assaulting girls and old women protesting against rape incidents.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice G S Singhvi also issued warning to all states and their police against repeating such brutal behaviours saying that they would be dealt sternly by the court.

Referring to recent occurrences in Delhi and Aligarh, the bench said, “We are making it very clear that if such incidents are repeated anywhere in the country again, the culprit will have it directly from the court. We will go beyond the norms, laid down as a principle of restraint.”

The bench, also comprising Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Sharad Arvind Bobde was hearing the matter relating to taking of suo motu cognisance of media reports about police personnel beating up a girl in Tarn Taran in Punjab and baton-charging protesting contract teachers at Patna in Bihar.

Widening the scope of the matter, the court sought explanations from Delhi Police Commissioner and chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh over similar incidents.

“Is your government left with any shame? Even a mad animal will not do what your officers are doing. How can an unarmed old lady be beaten? The way these officers are acting, it is an insult to the entire womanhood of the country. Your (UP's) chief secretary must explain what is the status of a woman in your state? How do you treat them” the bench asked UP government counsel.

The bench also slammed Delhi Police for running “berserk” and acting without a sense of responsibility in dealing with women.

“We don't know how many more children and women will be beaten in this country. We realise it could be our mothers and sisters tomorrow. How can be they so atrocious? There would be a day when police officers will start assaulting people after entering their houses. What kind of a civilised society this is,” the court asked.

The bench also observed, “This is not the India Mahatma Gandhi or Lal Bahadur Shastri or Savarkar or Subhash Chandra Bose would have imagined. We wonder if Gandhi had to be born now, how many deaths would he die.”

It also took strong exception to non-constitution of State Security Commissions, ordered in 2006 to be set up by every state in order to ensure independence of the police force from unwarranted interference by the executive.

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