Friday, September 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Medical board set up in gangrape case
HC asks DGP to file report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
In just over 24 hours after a news item appeared in The Tribune about a four-year-old being muted by gangrape, the state of Punjab today informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that a three-member medical board had been constituted for looking into the matter.

In a related development, the Punjab State Women Commission (PSWC) today expressed dissatisfaction with a report submitted by Ludhiana’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP). Pronouncing the orders in the case, the Commission appointed Punjab’s Additional Director-General of Police (Crime) to look into the matter. He was asked to personally investigate and submit a report to the Commission within 15 days.

In his report, the SSP had submitted that the police had taken prompt action on a complaint submitted in the matter. He had added that more than 25 witnesses, including another girl, had been examined. Several witnesses had stated that the child’s mother was demanding money from them, he had asserted.

Meanwhile, appearing before the High Court Bench, headed by the Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, Punjab’s Senior Deputy Advocate-General Charu Tuli told the Court that the Director-General of Police (DGP) was already aware about the setting up of the board and was looking into the matter.

Taking up the case, the Bench asked the board to submit its report to Ludhiana’s District and Sessions Judge, who, in turn, would submit the same to the High Court. The case will now come up for further hearing on October 13.

After taking suo motu cognizance of the report, the High Court on Wednesday had impleaded the DGP as a party, along with the state and other respondents. A note for taking appropriate action in the matter was initially forwarded to the Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, by Mr Justice Amar Dutt.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the report, PSWC had earlier directed Ludhiana’s SSP to personally conduct an inquiry into the matter. Chairperson Surinder Kaur Grewal ruled that the allegations in the story were “indeed a cause of great concern and warranted immediate action on behalf of the local police”.

Giving details, Ms Grewal added: “It has been stated in the news item that a four-year-old girl was allegedly raped by six persons. The victim’s mother as stated had made several representations to the police, but to avail. The victim has also been medically examined. Why has a first information report not been registered in the case as warranted under Section 154 of the CrPC? The alleged incident is dated August 25. What action has the police taken in the case so far.... ?”

She had also asked the SSP to ensure that the life and liberty of the victim and her family was protected and the victim was given medical treatment.


Rape victim’s mother meets DIG
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 25
Chanderwati, the mother of the alleged four-year-old gangrape victim, today regretted that the police had launched a vicious propaganda against her by alleging that she was demanding money from the persons whom she had accused of the crime. She also said, she was not aware whether an FIR had been registered as she was never called by the police after the “registration of an FIR” for any statements.

Chanderwati today met the DIG of Ludhiana range, Mr Sidarth Chatopadhyay, in the afternoon. After meeting the DIG, she said, she had told him about the agony being faced by her. She strongly denied the charges of the police that she had any dispute with her landlord or had at any point of time demanded money from him or any other accused.

Reiterating her charge that her daughter had been sexually assaulted by the persons whom she had accused, she wondered as to why the police was not taking any action against the culprits. She ridiculed the police claim that she had not named any accused. She said, she had given a representation to the SSP, in which she had named six persons. She said copies of the representation had been released to the press also. She said, the police could, if it wanted, see the names from the representation.

Chanderwati said yesterday she met “some senior officer also”. When told that the police had claimed that there was no rape and that her daughter had suffered the injuries after sliding down from a stair, she said, it was absolutely false.

Another lady, who was accompanying Chanderwati, asked as to how the police could claim that it was not a rape when the report of the swab examination was still awaited. Moreover, against the claims of the police that the Civil Surgeon had been asked to constitute a board of doctors to find out the truth, there was no medical examination conducted.

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