Chennai: Taking a serious view of alleged sexual abuse of two Rajasthani women hawkers and their children by police in Hosur, the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered a probe by a DSP level CB-CID officer.
Passing interim orders on a petition by All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), a bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, also directed the Government Pleader to take instructions with regard to Rs five lakh each compensation sought.
The matter related to sexual abuse of the women who were selling plastic wares after being taken to the Police Outpost at the Hosur bus stand on October 8 last along with their two children.
After perusing the report of the Sub-Collector of Krishnagiri District, who went into the matter, and the covering report of the District Collector, the court in its order observed "the report itself is evident of the conduct of the police officer concerned."
It directed the ADGP CBCID to appoint an officer not below the rank of DSP to conduct an investigation into the matter. If needed, arrest may be made and custodial interrogation also be conducted.
During the hearing, the Government Pleader submitted that the concerned officer had been permitted to compulsorily retire.
When the court asked how the erring official was allowed to go on compulsory retirement the Government Pleader submitted that it was a mistake and immediate corrective action will be taken.
Observing that the question as to why the women were taken to the police station remained unanswered, the court posted the matter to January 6 and directed authorities to file a status report by then.
Petitioner U.Vasuki, President of AIDWA and Vice-President of its Tamil Nadu Unit, submitted that even the ASP at the Sollagiri Police Station, where these two women were taken for 'interrogation', had not allowed the activist of the local AIDWA to be present.
When National Commission for Women (NCW), acting on a representation of AIDWA, fixed a date for inquiry, it was informed by the district police authorities that the women were missing.
The petitioner alleged police as well as the district administration were suppressing all facts about the incident and neither an FIR was registered nor the accused arrested.
Hence she prayed the court to transfer the investigation to CBCID and to grant a compensation of Rs.Five lakhs each to the women and their children. She also wanted the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to monitor the case.