Chennai: The Madras High Court has dismissed the anticipatory bail pleas filed by eight police personnel allegedly involved in sexually assaulting two minor girls in Puducherry, saying they have been charged with a "heinous" offence and acting as "vultures in uniform".
Refusing their pleas yesterday, Justice P Devadass observed that the accused command lot of influence and have "men, money and material" at their disposal which they can misuse.
"They were accused of having committed rape on two minor girls which is heinous and inhuman act.
"They were stated to be vultures in police uniform. Very grave accusations are made against them. The victims have identified the petitioners in a identification parade. There are information that an inspector of police over phone threatened the victim girls," he said.
Two minor girls were rescued from a prostitution racket in April last year. The victims approached the Child Welfare Committee and told them that some police officials were also part of the racket, following which cases were booked against them under the provisions of Protection of Child from Sexual Offences and also under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956.
The case was transferred to the CB-CID and in an identification parade conducted through video conferencing as per the directives of the Madras High Court, the victims identified the culprits.
After booking cases against nine police personnel, they were suspended. They were absconding after booking the cases.
While one of them retired from service, the remaining police personnel, including two inspectors were dismissed from service.
"The petitioners are not ordinary persons. They are having long experience of criminal law, they know many hideouts and escape routes. They command lot of influence and have men, money and material at their disposal. They have the propensity and ability to overawe the poor victim girls.
"Possibility of they interfering with investigation cannot be ruled out. There are incriminating materials which are required to be probed through custodial interrogation", the judge said refusing their anticipatory bail pleas.