Parents to move HC over chargesheet in girls' assault case

Parents to move HC over chargesheet in girls' assault case

Cubbon Park police have filed the chargesheet in a case against the management of a reputed school in the City for assaulting girl students.

Though the FIR, registered on January 10, 2015, included offences under the Pocso Act, the police have pressed charges under the IPC in the chargesheet. The parents have decided to move the High Court challenging the police investigation. The FIR had Sections 8, 9 (f) and 10 of Pocso Act and IPC Sections 504, 506, 354. The chargesheet has named J M Richard, Rev Sanjay Samuel, school management’s board members and Wilfred Thomas for offences under IPC Sections 354, 355, 504, 506. The FIR had named five accused.  

The incident of physical abuse of students of the school had taken place on January 8, 2015. Around 300 girl students were staging a protest in the presence of the Cubbon Park police against the school management for transferring the principal. When the protest was going on, the school secretary, along with a few board members, physically abused the students. In the chargesheet the police claimed that though there was an assault on the girl students, the offence did not attract provisions under the Pocso Act.

Advocate for the girls’ parents Mary Susheela said that Section 8 of the Pocso Act did attract in the case, however, the police chose not to include it in chargesheet. “The police seem to have deliberately distorted the facts and diluted the provisions which were originally placed before the Special Court for Pocso. The Special Court had directed the police to ensure that the identity of the children is not disclosed at any time during the course of investigation. In spite of the statements given by the students, the investigating officer has invoked only IPC sections. Since the police dropped sections under Pocso Act, the special court has transferred the case to the 8th ACCM court,” Mary Susheela said.

The Cubbon Park police have included IPC Section 354 which is for assault or criminal force to woman with an intent to outrage her modesty. “In this case, if at all an assault or criminal force has taken place, it is definitely not on any woman but on innocent children. By any stretch of imagination children cannot be equated to women and therefore the investigation is erroneous and gives rise to such doubts that the investigating authorities have deliberately deviated with oblique intentions in order to safeguard or protect the accused of they being guilty of the offences under the Pocso Act. We will challenge the chargesheet before the High Court seeking re-investigation,” she said.

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