High Court directs suspension of additional SP

The state government has been asked by the Rajasthan High Court on January 16 to suspend an additional superintendent of police for not filing a proper charge sheet in a case of gang rape of a 13-year-old girl.

A single judge bench of the court directed IG Bharatpur to initiate action against the ASP in the gang-rape case, which happened in Bharatpur district in April 2012.

According to Justice MN Bhandari, “The conduct of Additional SP is seen even in the court, which is not befitting the police official addressing the court. Government is directed to take it seriously and keep him under suspension.”

Aggrieved by the “shoddy” police investigations, father of the ST girl had approached the High Court in July 2012. The court then directed the police on July 31 to record the victim’s statements before a magistrate under CrPC Section 164 but the same was not done, prosecution said. When the case came again for hearing on August 17, the investigating officer, Additional SP Bhanwar Lal, told the court that a chargesheet would be filed against the accused on the basis of the minor’s statements recorded before the magistrate

The victim had told the magistrate that two persons raped her while seven others assisted them in the crime. The police officer, nevertheless, dropped the gangrape charge against the accused in the chargesheet filed before the trial court for minor offences. The High Court bench was annoyed over the fact that when the minor’s statements were recorded before the magistrate it clearly showed she was gang-raped, then what forced the police to charge the accused for lesser offences.

IG Saurabh Shrivastav, who appeared before the court pursuant to court’s order on January 16, told Justice Bhandari that he has asked the IO to file the chargesheet for gangrape but the additional SP has refused to obey the order. The refusal was on the ground that there was no medical evidence of rape and merely the statement of victim cannot be taken to be a ground to file chargesheet for rape, for want of medical corroboration hence he booked the accused only for molestation and outraging the modesty of a girl.

Shrivastav also told the bench that the police is filing a supplementary chargesheet for gang-rape and has also filed an application for cancellation of the main accused who have been earlier enlarged on bail owing to lesser punitive offence.

The court asked the IG that disciplinary action should be initiated against the ASP Bhanwarlal and the Sub-inspector who registered the FIR and the bail cancellation application filed by the police should be pressed hard. The bench has disposed off the revision petition filed by father of the victim but asked Shrivastav to inform the court about the action taken against delinquent officials by January 31.