MP HC Directs Day-To-Day Hearing Of Bhopal Gangrape Case; Seeks Status Report On Disciplinary Action Against Erring Cops [Read Order]
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has sought a status report within two weeks from the State about the disciplinary action taken against erring police officials who did not lodge an FIR, but instead made a gangrape victim run from one police station to another in Bhopal.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla issued the directive after taking on record the action taken report submitted by the State of the case.
Advocate-General PK Kaurav told the court that investigation is likely to be completed within fortnight and accordingly, the charge-sheet will be filed.
To which, the court directed “as and when the charge-sheet is filed, we direct the learned Sessions Judge, Bhopal, to entrust the matter to a Court which can take up the proceedings preferably on day-to-day basis”.
The Advocate-General submitted five police personnel and two doctors were suspended in the case.
He informed the court the awareness programme for the police personnel would be conducted soon for efficient handling of such sensitive cases.
The Advocate-General stated a report would be filed with respect to the doctors who prepared the medical report of the victim in a ‘cursory manner’.
On November 10, 2017, the MP HC took suo motu action on the news reports pertaining to the Bhopal gangrape case and registered a PIL.
The state Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Home), Principal Secretary (Public Health and Family Welfare), Director General of Police, Inspector General of Police and Superintendent of Police, Bhopal, were made respondents.
According to news reports, the incident occurred on October 31 evening, when the victim — a girl aged 18-19 years and resident of Vidisha — was returning home from UPSC (IAS) coaching class at MP Nagar in Bhopal. While she was walking along the railway track of Habibganj railway station in Bhopal, she was allegedly dragged aside and raped by four persons.
The accused sexually assaulted her repeatedly for three hours. To lodge the complaint, she went to two police stations but they refused to lodge an FIR, saying her story was ‘filmy’ and the spot of incident did not fall within their limits.
Ultimately, she saw one of the perpetrators playing cards near the crime scene and he was caught hold with the help of her family members and they handed him over to the police station. Finally, a case was registered on November 1.
In the medical report, it was initially stated that the victim had consensual sex and the accused had sexual intercourse with her consent. On re-examination, another medical report confirming the gangrape was sent by the health authorities to the police.
Citing the case of State of AP vs Ramulu & Others [1994 Supp (1) SCC 590], it observed that ‘refusal by police to record information about cognizable offence on ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction over the place of crime amounts to dereliction of duty. In such case, the police should record the information and forward the name to police station having jurisdiction over the area’.
In spite of the apex court judgment in State of AP vs Ramulu & Others, the state police officers compelled the victim to approach different police stations for registration of the crime.
Read the Order Here