29 Nov 2022 5:30 AM GMT
Coming to the aid of a detenue, whose rape complaints were not properly considered by the police officials, the Madras High Court expanded the scope of a Habeas Corpus Petition and went on to seek a status report from the Superintendent of Police regarding the allegations. The habeas corpus petition was filed by the elder sister of the detenue. The petitioner submitted that her sister...
Coming to the aid of a detenue, whose rape complaints were not properly considered by the police officials, the Madras High Court expanded the scope of a Habeas Corpus Petition and went on to seek a status report from the Superintendent of Police regarding the allegations.
The habeas corpus petition was filed by the elder sister of the detenue. The petitioner submitted that her sister was raped and even though she came forward to register a complaint on the same day she was made to go to different police stations and her complaint was not registered. Later, when she approached the District Collector, upon his instructions, a case was registered.
The petitioner claimed that after the complaint was registered, her sister was being kept at a care home, Patrick Isaac Home of Hope for Women and Children and not even the family members were allowed to meet her. This led to the filing of the Habeas corpus petition.
During the hearing of the petition, the detenue was produced before the court where she expressed her willingness to go with the petitioner and the same was recorded by the court.
It was at this point that the counsel for the petitioner informed the court that the hardships that the detenue had to go through, being a victim of rape to register her complaints. He submitted that her complaints were not duly looked into by the authorities.
The counsel informed the court that immediately after the rape which was committed on 5th October 2022, the detenue had approached Chatrapatti Police station, where she was made to go to Natham Police Station. She was made to go to different police stations. Being unsatisfied by the approach of the authorities, the detenue approached the District Collector who directed her to approach the Deputy Inspector General of Police and finally, an FIR was registered on 29th October.
Hearing this submission, the bench of Justice MS Ramesh and Justice Anand Venkatesh sought a status report. The court stressed that both the Apex Court and the High Courts have repeatedly held that in rape cases, even if the police station does not have jurisdiction, it should immediately forward the matter to the concerned police station having jurisdiction and the investigation should commence at the earliest. In the present case, the court was satisfied that even for registration of FIR, there was a delay of 24 days.
As per the court orders, a status report was filed which stated that after the alleged incident, when the detenue had visited the police station to complain, instead of receiving her oral complaint and registering an FIR, she was made to wait till the arrival of the Sub Inspector.
It was submitted that this lapse, on the part of the officer, was taken note of seriously and a departmental enquiry was also being conducted by the Additional Superintendent of Police, Crime Against Women and Children, Madurai District. Further, the delay of 24 days in filing of the FIR was also being looked into.
The Superintendent further informed the court that investigation was also changed to a different station to ensure that the allegations made by the victim against the police officers can be looked into thoroughly and the victim could be assured that the investigation will be conducted in a free and fair manner.
In view of the status report filed by the Superintendent of Police and recording the submissions, the court directed the Deputy Superintendent of Police to investigate the case from all angles and to file a report within three months from the date of order.
Case Title: Rajamani v The Inspector General of Police (South Zone) and others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 481
Case No: H.C.P.(MD)No.1856 of 2022