Upset over gang rape probe, HC orders cop's suspension

The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to suspend an additional superintendent of police for not filing a proper chargesheet in the gang rape case of a 13-year-old girl.

A single judge bench of the court directed IG Bharatpur to take action against the ASP in the gang rape case, which happened in Bharatpur district in April last year.

“The conduct of the additional SP is seen even in the court, which is not befitting the police official addressing the court. The government is directed to take it seriously and keep him under suspension,” said Justice M N Bhandari.

Aggrieved by the “shoddy” police investigations, the father of the Scheduled Tribe girl had approached the High Court in July last year.

The court then directed police on July 31 to record the victim’s statements before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but it was not done, the prosecution said.

When the case came up again for hearing on August 17, the investigating officer, additional SP Bhanwar Lal, told the court that a chargesheet would be filed against the accused on the basis of the minor’s statements recorded before the magistrate.

The victim had told the magistrate that two persons had raped her while seven others assisted them in the crime.

Minor offence

The police officer, nevertheless, dropped the gang rape charge against the accused in the chargesheet filed before the trial court for minor offences.

The High Court bench was annoyed over the fact that when the minor’s statements were recorded before the magistrate, it clearly showed she was gang raped, then what forced police to charge the accused for a lesser offence.

IG Saurabh Shrivastav, who appeared before the court pursuant to the court’s order on Monday, told Justice Bhandari that he has asked the IO to file the chargesheet for gang rape, but the additional SP refused to obey the order.

Medical evidence

The refusal was on the ground that there was no medical evidence of rape and merely the statement of the victim cannot be taken to be a ground to file a chargesheet.
There was no medical corroboration, hence the accused was booked only for molestation and outraging the modesty of a girl, said the IO.

Shrivastav also told the bench that police are filing a supplementary chargesheet, and has also filed an application for cancellation of the main accused’s bail, which was granted earlier owing to lesser punitive offence.

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