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Allahabad High Court expresses displeasure over the violation of law in rape investigation

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The Allahabad High Court has expressed displeasure over the violation of the law by not recording the audio video statement of the victim by the investigator in the gang rape case.

The Court has directed SP Rampur, the present ASP Milakh and the Investigating Officer, to appear with the explanation.

A Single Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Appeal filed by Waseem.

Registrar (compliance) of the Court shall communicate the order to the Director General of Police, U.P Lucknow, Additional Director General of Police, Bareilly Zone as well as Principal Secretary (Law) & Legal Remembrancer, U.P Government for necessary information.

On 09.05.2022 the Court passed the following order:-

“S.K Pal, Government Advocate assisted by J.K Upadhyay, AGA prays for and is allowed a week’s time to file an affidavit disclosing the specific grounds on which co-accused Saniv, Nazeev, Shafique and Naazim have been exonerated by the Investigating Officer despite there is specific allegation of rape against them in the statement of the victim under Section 164 Cr.P.C. Put up this case as fresh on 17.05.2022.”

Counsel appearing on behalf of the informant apprised the Court that after taking note of the defective investigation conducted by the investigating officer of this case and on putting query in this regard by the Court, Sub-Inspector Adesh of police station Tanda, district Rampur is mounting pressure upon the informant and the victim for not pursuing the case and making allegation against the investigating officer. This is being done by SI Adesh at the behest of the investigating officer of the case as well as in collusion with the accused persons, who have illegally been exonerated by the investigating officer ignoring the statement of the victim under Section 164 Cr.P.C.

The Court noted that,

It is submitted that even after submission of a charge sheet in the matter, Sub Inspector Adesh visited many times to the house of the victim for the said purpose. There are constant threats to the life and liberty of the victim and her family members.

It is further pointed out that the statement of victim under Section 161 Cr.P.C. was not recorded by audio-video means whereas provisions of recording the statement under Section 161 Cr.P.C by audio-video means was inserted by the Act No 5 of 2009 with effect from 31.12.2002 and the similar provision has also been provided under sub Section (10) of Section 15A of the S.C./S.T Act, but the aforesaid mandatory provisions have not been complied with by the investigating officer with a view to extend undue favour to the accused persons.

In the case out of five accused who have committed rape on the victim as per her statement under Section 164 CrPC, charge-sheet has been submitted only against one accusedWaseem and remaining four accused have been exonerated closing the investigation and no separate closure report(final report) has been filed before the Court in the prescribed proforma with a view to deprived of the victim to file her objection tothe same.

In reply, the Government Advocate submitted that the matter is in the knowledge of Superintendent of police Rampur and other higher officers, but till date neither any suitable steps has been taken in the matter nor order for further investigation has been passed.

“In view of the above, the Superintendent of Police, Rampur, Dharma Singh Marchal presently posted as Additional S.P, Rampur Milakh, the Investigating Officer of this case and Sub-Inspector Adesh of police station Tanda, District Ramur shall appear in person before the Court on the next date and shall file their personal affidavit.

Superintendent of Police, Rampur in his affidavit shall show cause as to why the amended provisions of Section 161 Cr.P.C, circular dated 11.08.2021 of the State Government and provisions of sub Section (10) of Section 15A of S.C./S.T Act have not been complied with in letter and spirit and what action has been taken by him to ensure the fair investigation. Affidavit shall also indicate that in the last one year in how many cases amended provisions of Section 161 Cr.P.C and provisions of sub Section (10) of Section 15A of S.C./S.T Act have been complied with in true sense and in how many cases, the said provisions have not been followed. The details of the cases in which the said provisions have been followed and have not been followed shall be brought on record separately along with the affidavit.

Investigating Officer in his affidavit shall show cause as to why the amended provisions of Section 161 Cr.P.C, circular dated 11.08.2021 of the State Government and sub Section (10) of Section 15A of S.C./S.T Act have not been complied with in letter and spirit. In case, the statement of victim has been recorded by audiovideo means, the same shall be produced before the Court.

Sub-Inspector Adesh of police station Tanda, District Ramur in his affidavit shall explain the allegations levelled against him on behalf of informant/victim as mentioned above”, the Court ordered.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on May 26, 2022.

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