Sensitise police towards molestation cases:HC

The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed top officials from Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) to come up with steps to ensure safety of women on trains.

Updated: Jul 21, 2011, 21:50 PM IST

Mumbai: Asking the Maharashtra government to
sensitise its police force towards molestation cases, the
Bombay High Court on Thursday directed top officials from Railway
Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) to
come up with steps to ensure safety of women on trains.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice
Ranjana Desai was hearing a PIL which alleged that GRP had
refused to register the complaint of a 25-year-old woman who
was molested in a local train in the wee hours of June 19.

"You (state) have to sensitise your police towards
molestation cases. Police think it is not a serious case just
because under section 354 for molestation, it is a bailable
offence. Even if an accused is arrested and kept in custody
for a few hours, he will understand the gravity of the
situation," Justice Shah remarked.

Government pleader Rajesh Behere informed the court that
the state government has asked a 20-member committee, formed
last year towards protection of women in railways, to consider
amendment to section 354 to make it a non-bailable offence.

"The committee submitted an interim report in December
last year and is expected to submit the final report in
December this year," Behere said.

The court, however, asked as to how many recommendations
made by the committee in its interim report have been
implemented by the state government to which the government
pleader said that he would find it out.

As directed by the court at the last hearing, the state
government today submitted the names of two GRP personnel who
were on duty at Thane railway station on the night of the
incident.

According to the victim, she had approached two police
personnel at Thane to lodge her complaint but was asked to go
away.

"The two police personnel are assistant sub-inspector
K A Jadhav and constable Rathod. Jadhav was sleeping when the
girl had approached the police. Rathod was arrogant and asked
the girl to go away without registering her complaint," Behere
said.

He added that an enquiry has been launched against the
two and a report would be submitted to the Commissioner
(Railways) after which departmental action would be initiated.

The matter has been kept for further hearing on August
12.

The incident took place when the victim had boarded the
general compartment of a train at Nerul station in Navi Mumbai
when she was allegedly molested by an unidentified person.

The woman managed to get down at the next station,
Juinagar. She then travelled to Thane and reported the matter
to GRP personnel who asked her whether she had been robbed or
raped, to which she replied in the negative. Then they
allegedly asked her as why she wanted to lodge a complaint.

She approached Vashi police station two days later
which registered a complaint against the unidentified accused
on the basis of her statement.

PTI