Delhi HC: PIL to frame norms on police probe into Marital rows

New Delhi:  A senior citizen, who was accused of rape by his daughter-in-law and discharged from the offence two years after the incident, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking framing of guidelines on how police should handle probes into cases arising out of marital rows.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Delhi Police and sought its stand on the plea in which the senior citizen has claimed that the agency colluded with his daughter-in-law, who had also accused her mother-in-law of aiding in the alleged sexual assault.

The plea has claimed that the petitioner, Shashi Kumar Mahajan, was immediately arrested on registration of FIR which was lodged nearly a month after the alleged incident and without any preliminary investigation.

According to the petition the woman had lodged the complaint on May 21, 2014 alleging that her father-in-law raped her on April 21, 2014 with the aid of her mother-in-law while her husband was not present at home.

The father-in-law, a diabetic and heart patient, had to spend two months in Tihar Jail before he was granted bail and a sessions court had later discharged him of the charge of rape only in April 2016 by saying the offence was not made out, the petition has said.

The couple parted ways in 2014 after the arrest of the father-in-law, the plea has said.

It has claimed “abuse of power” by police officers who were investigating the woman’s complaint and has sought initiation of disciplinary action against them.

The PIL, filed through advocate Ashok Mahapatra, has contended,”There is no provision and due process to achieve and secure objectivity and accountability in the investigation, which leads to arbitrary probe and abuse of power and authority in many cases, as in the present matter.”

It said that in the instant case the police officers investigating the case did not obtain any document from the woman to corroborate her allegations regarding demand of dowry made against her husband and in-laws.

The joint plea, also by the woman’s husband and mother-in-law, claimed that the police lodged an FIR a month after the alleged incident of rape and the offence was included in the charge sheet without even carrying out a medical examination of the complainant.

The petition has contended that a “new trend has emerged of foisting alleged rape cases against in-laws, which has become rampant, so that senior citizens are incarcerated in jail”.

The petitioners have claimed that had their mobile phone locations been examined, it would have shown their innocence.

However, the police did not examine this aspect, despite their repeated requests, their plea said.

Apart from the PIL, the petitioners have moved a separate plea in the high court seeking lodging of an FIR against the woman for levelling false allegation of rape against the father-in-law.

In his plea, the senior citizen has claimed that the police instead of hearing his side of the story, “blindly” proceeded on the complaint filed by his daughter-in-law.

He has alleged in his plea that the police of the area was in cahoots with the woman and no fair and impartial investigation was conducted.

The high court is likely to hear the matter next on September 10.

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