Gang-rape: Delhi Police says sorry for lapses

The Delhi Police on Thursday tendered an apology to the High Court for failing to prevent the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student and the serious lapses committed by its officials on the night of December 16 when the horrific incident took place.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Delhi Court on Thursday slammed the city police for committing serious lapses in the December 16 gang-rape case and issued instructions to Home Ministry to consider raising the number of PCR vans to ensure better safety of women in the capital.

The order was passed by the High Court bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain.

The order was passed shortly after the Delhi Police tendered an unconditional apology to the High Court for failing to prevent the gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student and the lapses committed by its officials on that fateful night of December 16 when the horrific incident took place.

The apology from the Delhi Police came minutes after the High Court began its proceedings on the status report filed by it on the December 16 gang-rape case.

The Delhi Police assured that such lapses will not occur in future. The High court, on its part, said that it took suo motu cognisance of the gang-rape incident to ensure that December 16 like incidents are not repeated.

The court also directed the Delhi Police to carry an investigation of "high standard".

The Delhi Court also issued guidelines to the Centre on improving policing system and the functioning of the PCR vans in Delhi.

Delhi Police filed the status report yesterday in connection with the case of shocking gang-rape and attempted murder of 23-year-old medical by six men on a moving bus in the national capital last month.

In view of the public outcry over negligence shown by the Delhi Police, the court had earlier directed it to file a detailed report on Police Control Room (PCR) vans deployed that night and what action it had taken against the cops found in dereliction of their duty.

During the hearing yesterday, a bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain criticized the Delhi Police for not mentioning in its status report the names of the policemen on PCR duty in the area that night.
"Till today, you are not giving the names. What is the difficulty? You cannot hold back the names like this. We are not happy. Earlier also, we had expressed our unhappiness, even then you are not giving the names. What actions have you taken so far?" the bench said.

It also asked why some of the top police officials in the city, including the Commissioner, should not be made accountable for the slips in policing that night.

The court also asked why a bus with tinted glass and curtains was allowed to ply on Delhi`s roads. In their defence, the police said that there were 66 police vans in South Delhi, so it was difficult to pin the blame on a few vans.

The Delhi Police further said that the PCR vans don`t come under district policing, but were controlled by a separate unit.
Dayan Krishnan, the counsel for police, told the court that there were two PCR vans close to the site and it cannot be said that the bus, in which offence took place, pass through them.

The counsel also informed the court that an ACP has been suspended.

However, the bench was not satisfied with the explanation and it remarked, “Why is only one ACP (Assistant Commissioner of Police) mentioned in the report? Why should there be no blame for the Deputy Commissioner of Police or the Commissioner?"

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is among those who has suggested that Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar must resign, accepting responsibility for the many lapses that allowed the assault on the girl and her male friend after they boarded the bus.