Evidence withheld in gang-rape case: Delhi Police Commissioner asked to act
The Delhi Police Commissioner has been asked to direct his subordinates not to withhold any evidence by a court here which acquitted two youths in a gang-rape case and pulled up the investigating officer for not conducting a fair probe.
New Delhi: The Delhi Police Commissioner has been asked to direct his subordinates not to withhold any evidence by a court here which acquitted two youths in a gang-rape case and pulled up the investigating officer for not conducting a fair probe.
The court, while freeing the two accused, also gave them the liberty to claim compensation from the woman, who had filed the case against them, and her family for falsely implicating them in the case.
"... The investigation in the instant case has been designed defective and partial. The investigating officer (IO) has committed breach of professional standards by ignoring, disregarding and withholding material evidence which pointed to the innocence of the accused."
"There have been intentional acts of commission and omission on her part prejudicial to the interests of the accused," Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said.
The court also said it was apparent that the investigation of the case has been "totally partial" with the only thing in the mind of the IO that the evidence collected by her which favours the accused and points towards their innocence should not reach the court.
"The conduct of IO is highly depreciable and deplorable. She has betrayed the trust reposed by public upon a police official," it added.
The judge said that a copy of this judgement be sent to the Delhi Police Commissioner with the hope that the concerns raised in the verdict would be adequately addressed and a message is sent down the line to all the IOs to inform the accused about the evidence gathered during the course of investigation which favours them.
It asked the Commissioner to direct IOs not to withhold or conceal any such evidence from the court so that the accused would get justice at the earliest possible opportunity.
According to the prosecution, in June 2012, the woman along with her friend had gone to watch movie at Priya cinema where she met one of her classmates Prashant Sablani. While returning home, he offered to drop her home in his car and gave her sedatives-laced cold drink.
He took her to an under construction building where she was raped by accused Prashant and his friend Milind. They also committed unnatural sex with her, she had alleged to police.
A case was registered at Vasant Vihar Police Station and both the accused were arrested. Advocate Gajinder Kumar, appearing for Prashant, argued that the girl's parents had lodged false case against him in collusion with police and his client was innocent.
The counsel said the woman in her initial statement to the police had not stated anything about the sexual assault upon her but later on after two weeks, she gave a concocted story about having been drugged and sexually assaulted by the two accused after being tutored by her parents.
The judge said that the court regretted in noting that the two accused, who were in their early twenties, had to face trial for the crime which they had not committed at all.
"They had to suffer incarceration in jail for more than one year and had to undergo rigours of a criminal trial for about two years. Their educational as well as professional career has been jeopardised apart from the humiliation and ridicule faced by them on being accused in a rape case. The mental agony, distress and pain suffered by them during all these years is not difficult to fathom," it said.
It said the fact that the woman did not tell her mother and brother while going home in the car with them from the spot she was dropped at by the accused, that they had raped and sodomised her would clearly demonstrate that "she had not been subjected to any such act".
The court said the report of forensic science laboratory also contradicts the theory of rape and unnatural sex.
It said that after going through the record, it was evident that a false complaint was filed by the girl against the two accused at the instance of her parents, who were enraged, probably for the reason that their daughter had consumed liquor in the company of the accused and wanted to teach him a lesson.
"A totally false story of abduction, rape...Has been concocted, which could not stand during the trial and was falsified by witnesses of prosecution itself," it said.