Law intern case: No hotel CCTV clip available

Police can't file suo moto FIR, say victim needs to give statement

Le Meridien Hotel officials told Delhi Police that they do not have CCTV footage that could shed light on allegation of sexual harassment by a law intern against Justice (retd) A K Ganguly.

Police have also asked officials of the hotel in central Delhi to seek help from experts to retrieve the crucial footage.

“It remains to be examined if the footage has been erased as part of some conspiracy,” a senior police officer said.

Police are investigating the management’s claim that CCTV footage in the hotel gets automatically erased after a month as the capacity of the hotel’s computers to retain old footage is limited.

Police said they are trying to seek support of the intern over the incident that she said happened on December 24, 2012 between 8.30 pm and 10 pm.

Intern’s version required

“Before we actually get down to investigate, it is important that the intern gives her version of the incident. We tried to contact her by email,” the officer said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) SBS Tyagi said police are indeed trying to contact the intern.

“We have sent an email to the woman to file an FIR and record her statement,” he said.
The intern said she has got the police’s request and sought time to cooperate as she was travelling, a police officer said.

Senior officers in the police headquarters said they have missed an opportunity to file a suo moto FIR after the  Supreme Court’s three-judge committee gave its report on December 5.

Police are now dependent on the intern’s statement for registering an FIR.

A senior police officer said registration of an FIR will be the foundation for their next step. “Till that happens, we cannot question officials of the hotel properly,” he said.

The apex court committee found the retired judge guilty of sexually harassing the law intern, and the retired judge refused to resign from office as chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. He also denied the allegation.

Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam set up a committee comprising Justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu and Ranjana Prakash Desai to look into the intern’s complaint, which she made public through a blog.

Comments (+)