13 Dec 2021 10:19 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to set up a monitoring agency to ensure that police officials follow the procedures regarding proper management and investigation of cases relating to Child Sexual Abuse. A division bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj and Justice J M Khazi said,"...it is required that all investigating officers are trained...
The Karnataka High Court has directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to set up a monitoring agency to ensure that police officials follow the procedures regarding proper management and investigation of cases relating to Child Sexual Abuse.
A division bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj and Justice J M Khazi said,
"...it is required that all investigating officers are trained and sensitised in this regard and a monitoring agency set up by the Director- General of Police for the State of Karnataka to ensure that the SOP is followed and implemented both in letter and spirit."
The direction was given by the court while hearing an appeal filed by the state government challenging a trial court order by which it acquitted Kamalesh Gajanan Naik, accused under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 376 (rape) and 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of IPC and Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
It was the case of the prosecution that when the victim aged about 17 years had gone to attend nature's call in the forest near her house as they did not have a toilet in their house, the accused knowing that the victim is a minor had waylaid the victim, forcibly made her to lay flat on the ground. Thereafter the accused removed his trouser and forcibly tried to have sexual intercourse with her at which time she picked up a stone, hit him and ran away. It is in this background, on the very same day, the victim lodged a complaint with the police.
The High Court on examining the evidence recorded by the trial court noted,
"As regards the investigation carried out, less said the better as there is absolutely no evidence on record, medical or otherwise, which the Investigating Officer has been able to secure in the present matter."
It added, "It is rather shocking that when a person who alleged [rightly or wrongly] to have been sexually assaulted, no requisition to the Doctor has been issued as regards the examination to be conducted to the complainant. There is no medical examination of the victim or the accused which has been conducted. The clothes of neither the victim nor the accused have been collected and sent for forensic examination. More so, when there is an allegation that the accused tried to have forcible sexual intercourse with the victim."
The court opined that in order to prove the factual matrix of the case alleged by the prosecution, it was required that necessary evidence be secured and forensic examination be done.
On an enquiry from the Additional SPP with respect to the process and investigation method to be followed, the Court was apprised that henceforth the SOP issued by Karnataka State Police regarding the procedures that are needed to be adopted for management of cases relating to Child Sexual Abuse will be followed.
"The SOP mentioned above is a step in the right direction, it is required that all investigating officers are trained and sensitised in this regard," the Bench remarked.
It also directed the Additional SPP to bring the Court's order to the notice of the DGP.
As regards the appeal, the court on analysing the evidence said, "The evidence of P.W.1 being untrustworthy, the evidence of P.W.2, P.W.3 and P.W.4 being interested witnesses against whom a complaint has been lodged by the accused, the testimony of the Doctor and or the exhibits marked in this regard does not establish sexual assault, we are of the considered opinion that the order of acquittal passed by the trial Court is just and proper and does not require any interference."
The appeal was accordingly dismissed.
Case Title: State Of Karnataka v. Kamalesh Gajanan Naik
Case No: Criminal Appeal No.100055/2019
Date Of Order: 09th Day of December, 2021
Appearance: V.M.Banakar, Addl. Spp For Appellant
Click Here To Read Judgment/Order