Bathinda rape case: Punjab and Haryana High Court raps cops, says protectors of law turned into predators

Police face criticism for all-male SIT

Bathinda rape case: Punjab and Haryana High Court raps cops, says protectors of law turned into predators

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rapped the Punjab Police for turning into “predators” in a case where a widow’s Covid-infected son was allegedly implicated in a drugs case after she refused sexual favour to police officials. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rapped the Punjab Police for turning into “predators” in a case where a widow’s Covid-infected son was allegedly implicated in a drugs case after she refused sexual favour to police officials.

Also admonishing the police for insensitivity in constituting an all-male special investigation team to probe a rape case registered on her complaint, Justice Arun Monga further directed the state through its Director-General of Police to constitute a new SIT.

Justice Monga made it clear that the new team would be headed by Additional Director-General of Police Gurpreet Deo. She would be assisted by Muktsar Senior Superintendent of Police D Sudarvizhi and Budhlada Deputy Superintendent of Police Prabhjot Kaur.

The matter was placed before Justice Monga after the woman filed a petition apprehending “bodily harm” and tampering with the evidence. Justice Monga observed the allegations and factual averments in the petition were so grisly and frightful that one could only hope those were fictitious. Justice Monga also took note of the state counsel’s submissions that it was a case of honey trap laid by the petitioner that later boomeranged, before adding if that was not the case it reflected the sordid state of affairs in the Punjab Police, particularly in the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) at Bathinda. Justice Monga further added: “The very protectors/enforcers of law and order have turned into predators, making a 38-year-old widow-mother victim of their lust… An FIR, allegedly a false one, was registered against her son under the NDPS Act by planting contraband on him so as to arm-twist the petitioner. Eventually, under duress to get her son released, she yielded to the sexual demands of the CIA staff.”

Referring to the constitution of the all-male SIT to look into the rape case registered under Section 376 of the IPC on May 12 at the Cantonment police station in Bathinda on her complaint, Justice Monga added it was rather intriguing, given the nature of sensitive investigation, that woman police official was not involved, which otherwise also was the requirement of law. “To say the least, it is highly deplorable to see the insensitivity with which the district police officials have acted, in constituting the SIT having all male members,” Justice Monga asserted, before making it clear that the new team would probe both the rape and the drugs case.

Justice Monga also asked the state counsel to seek instructions on steps so far taken under the ‘Witness Protection Scheme, 2018’ following the petitioner’s apprehensions of bodily harm. The state counsel was also asked to seek instructions on departmental action, if any, and steps taken for proceeding against the accused in criminal proceedings arising out of both the FIRs.

Advocate seeks protection from husband

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association has forwarded a representation to the Punjab DGP by a woman advocate, seeking protection of life from her husband, an IPS officer. It was alleged that the IPS officer had openly threatened to harm the advocate/applicant

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