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Slamming delay in probe, Allahabad HC directs police to speed up sexual assault probe

​​​​​​​The court reiterated section 173 of CrPC which was amended in 2018 to mandate that investigation in sexual violence cases should be completed within 2 months; yet in this case, the statements of the accused were recorded after 3 months of the FIR

Sabrangindia 18 Sep 2021

Allhabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has ordered a fresh probe into the case of rape on a minor girl in a Mainpuri school who was found hanging. The court has found some serious lapses in the investigation carried out initially. The bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice Anil Kumar Ojha observed that the interrogation of the accused was carried out by the police 3 months after the FIR was lodged.

Further, noticing these serious lapses, the court has also given a direction that the state government should issue and order directing investigating officers to comply with section 173 of the CrPC which mandates completion of investigation of sexual offences within 2 months.

Section 173 1A was inserted by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 and states:

“The investigation in relation to an offence under sections 376, 376A, 376AB, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376DA, 376DB or 376E of the Indian Penal Code shall be completed within two months1 from the date on which the information was recorded by the officer in charge of the police station.”

The case is of 2019 when a 16-year-old girl was found hanging in her hostel and her family had alleged sexual assault. Some serious lapses were found in the investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the family had alleged that the police were trying to shield the accused which included the school’s principal, hostel warden and another person.

The court was informed that action has been taken against those police officers who defaulted in conducting the investigation in a fair and proper manner. Investigating Officer Pahup Singh has been placed under suspension and an inquiry against Superintendent of Police, Mainpuri is underway. Further, the DGP also informed the court that two other officers Om Prakash, Additional Superintendent of Police and Priyank Jain, Deputy Superintendent of Police have also been placed under suspension.

The major lapse in the matter was that despite semen found on the body of the deceased girl, the DNA test of the suspects was not sent for which hampered the probe into allegations of sexual assault.

The court has directed the newly constituted SIT to probe the case within 6 weeks.

Members of the Bar including Senior Counsel Amrendra Nath Singh, told the court that this is not just a case of lapse in investigation but a case where the effort of the investigating team was to give benefit to the accused. The effort was to somehow make them free and thereby no evidence relevant to the case was collected rather subsequent investigation was also to give clean chit to the accused, the court was informed by the counsel.

About the mandate under section 173 of CrPC, the court said, “Since Section 173 (2) Cr.P.C. mandates completion of investigation within time frame, the D.G.P. is directed to find out whether necessary order has been issued by the State Government to direct the investigating officers for compliance of the provisions, as amended. If circular/direction has been issued till date, then immediately an order be issued.”

The court gave serious consideration to the provisions and directed that delay in “investigation in such cases should be made subject or explanation otherwise delay without any reason should invite action against the defaulting officers”.

“The Government is directed to take action against the defaulting officers, if cause delay in investigation of the offence under Section 173 Cr.P.C. If the investigating officers are not efficient then in future they should not be assigned investigation of the case. It is further directed that in the investigation, all scientific methods should be applied because defective investigation or investigation without collection of proper evidence, results in acquittal and therefore only the conviction rate is only 6 to 7%,” the court said.

The court has also directed the police administration to not only monitor the investigation but guide the investigating officers to apply the scientific methods for investigation and for training to be held periodically. The court also ordered that not only the investigating officer but the officers who supervise the investigation should be made responsible if any defect is found in the investigation. In this case, the court has directed the DGP to closely monitor the progress of the investigation.

The court also ordered protection of the petitioner and the family of the victim.

The case will next be heard on October 18.

This order mandating and reiterating completion of investigation in sexual assault cases within 2 months is a welcome move in the light of the rising crimes against women as indicated in the Crime in India 2020 report released by the National Crime Records Bureau. The report revealed that Uttar Pradesh has topped the list of crimes against women with maximum number of cases at 49,385. Uttar Pradesh also recorded the second highest number of rape cases in the country with 2,796 cases.

The complete order may be read here:

Related:

Crimes against women highest in Uttar Pradesh: NCRB 2020 report

Two years after she was found dead, family of Mainpuri school girl awaits justice

Mumbai man rapes woman, tortures her with iron rod

 

Slamming delay in probe, Allahabad HC directs police to speed up sexual assault probe

​​​​​​​The court reiterated section 173 of CrPC which was amended in 2018 to mandate that investigation in sexual violence cases should be completed within 2 months; yet in this case, the statements of the accused were recorded after 3 months of the FIR

Allhabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has ordered a fresh probe into the case of rape on a minor girl in a Mainpuri school who was found hanging. The court has found some serious lapses in the investigation carried out initially. The bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice Anil Kumar Ojha observed that the interrogation of the accused was carried out by the police 3 months after the FIR was lodged.

Further, noticing these serious lapses, the court has also given a direction that the state government should issue and order directing investigating officers to comply with section 173 of the CrPC which mandates completion of investigation of sexual offences within 2 months.

Section 173 1A was inserted by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 and states:

“The investigation in relation to an offence under sections 376, 376A, 376AB, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376DA, 376DB or 376E of the Indian Penal Code shall be completed within two months1 from the date on which the information was recorded by the officer in charge of the police station.”

The case is of 2019 when a 16-year-old girl was found hanging in her hostel and her family had alleged sexual assault. Some serious lapses were found in the investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the family had alleged that the police were trying to shield the accused which included the school’s principal, hostel warden and another person.

The court was informed that action has been taken against those police officers who defaulted in conducting the investigation in a fair and proper manner. Investigating Officer Pahup Singh has been placed under suspension and an inquiry against Superintendent of Police, Mainpuri is underway. Further, the DGP also informed the court that two other officers Om Prakash, Additional Superintendent of Police and Priyank Jain, Deputy Superintendent of Police have also been placed under suspension.

The major lapse in the matter was that despite semen found on the body of the deceased girl, the DNA test of the suspects was not sent for which hampered the probe into allegations of sexual assault.

The court has directed the newly constituted SIT to probe the case within 6 weeks.

Members of the Bar including Senior Counsel Amrendra Nath Singh, told the court that this is not just a case of lapse in investigation but a case where the effort of the investigating team was to give benefit to the accused. The effort was to somehow make them free and thereby no evidence relevant to the case was collected rather subsequent investigation was also to give clean chit to the accused, the court was informed by the counsel.

About the mandate under section 173 of CrPC, the court said, “Since Section 173 (2) Cr.P.C. mandates completion of investigation within time frame, the D.G.P. is directed to find out whether necessary order has been issued by the State Government to direct the investigating officers for compliance of the provisions, as amended. If circular/direction has been issued till date, then immediately an order be issued.”

The court gave serious consideration to the provisions and directed that delay in “investigation in such cases should be made subject or explanation otherwise delay without any reason should invite action against the defaulting officers”.

“The Government is directed to take action against the defaulting officers, if cause delay in investigation of the offence under Section 173 Cr.P.C. If the investigating officers are not efficient then in future they should not be assigned investigation of the case. It is further directed that in the investigation, all scientific methods should be applied because defective investigation or investigation without collection of proper evidence, results in acquittal and therefore only the conviction rate is only 6 to 7%,” the court said.

The court has also directed the police administration to not only monitor the investigation but guide the investigating officers to apply the scientific methods for investigation and for training to be held periodically. The court also ordered that not only the investigating officer but the officers who supervise the investigation should be made responsible if any defect is found in the investigation. In this case, the court has directed the DGP to closely monitor the progress of the investigation.

The court also ordered protection of the petitioner and the family of the victim.

The case will next be heard on October 18.

This order mandating and reiterating completion of investigation in sexual assault cases within 2 months is a welcome move in the light of the rising crimes against women as indicated in the Crime in India 2020 report released by the National Crime Records Bureau. The report revealed that Uttar Pradesh has topped the list of crimes against women with maximum number of cases at 49,385. Uttar Pradesh also recorded the second highest number of rape cases in the country with 2,796 cases.

The complete order may be read here:

Related:

Crimes against women highest in Uttar Pradesh: NCRB 2020 report

Two years after she was found dead, family of Mainpuri school girl awaits justice

Mumbai man rapes woman, tortures her with iron rod

 

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