Conduct of Police officer in failing to arrest politician accused of rape charges is astonishing; Bombay HC directs for sensitization course

  • Pankaj Bajpai
  • 05:13 PM, 12 Apr 2021

Bombay HC directs Commissioner of Police, Aurangabad to undergo a sensitization course with regard to crimes against women before he could be called upon to shoulder or be entrusted with the responsibility of investigating into crimes against women.

HC said that cannot appreciate that the I.O. could have had numerous reasons to assign for not arresting the accused, as no such reason has been cited, much less recorded u/s 41 of the CrPC.

High Court opines that as the accused was bold enough in taking the names of national and state leaders in his statement recorded on Jan 01, 2021, probably with the intention of displaying the weight that he carries in the political circles, that the I.O. developed cold feet and could not muster courage to arrest him.

The court found that the I.O has extensively investigated into the offence. However, there is no plausible explanation as to why he blindly relied upon the statement of the accused, inwhich, the accused had stated, while taking the plea of alibi, that he had visited senior political leaders active at the State level and at the national level, despite the fact that the statement of the victim u/s 164 of the Cr.P.C. was recorded, in which, she has reiterated the offence against the accused, without a contradiction.

“Instead of relying upon the statement of the victim, set out in her complaint as well as u/s 164, the I.O. chose to rely upon the plea of alibi put forth by the accused. This shows, either his insensitivity to the offences committed against women, or he was manipulated by the accused” said the court.

The court cannot turn a blind eye to the recorded factors insofar as the manner in which the I.O. conducted the investigation into the offence. There is no single convincing and plausible reason as to why the I.O., while conducting investigation into a heinous offence punishable u/s 376 of the Indian Penal Code, refrained from arresting the accused.

The Court is intrigued by the fact that the first I.O., a lady officer, was suddenly removed without any reason within 4 days and the present I.O. Bhujbal was appointed. The removal of the first I.O. is conspicuous.

In the statement of the accused recorded by the I.O., he has dropped names of senior national leaders belonging to the Nationalist Congress Party, including a former CM, an M.P. and an M.L.A.

The court cannot ignore the fact that any normal human being, alleged to have committed an offence punishable u/s 376, would have had rushed to the Court for seeking anticipatory bail. The accused herein has not filed any application before the competent court for seeking such relief.

The Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs (Women Safety Division) has issued a circular to all Chief Secretaries/ Advisors to Administrators (All States and Uts), dated Oct 10, 2020. The subject of the circular being “mandatory action by police in cases of offences registered against women”. It is thus, mandated that offences against women should be investigated urgently and the investigation should be completed within two months.

“There shall be compulsory registration of an FIR in case of cognizable offences, under Section 154(1) of the Cr.P.C. Failure to record an FIR would be punishable. Failure of the police to adhere to the mandatory requirements in investigation of crimes against women, would be subject to stringent action against the errant officers”, reiterated the Court.

Case Title: XYZ C/O. NAZIYA ZAHIRUDDIN SHAIKH vs STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND OTHERS