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Solapur rape case: Bombay HC directs DGP to depute senior officer to probe

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Bombay High Court Solapur Gang Rape Case
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Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra state director general of police (DGP) to appoint a senior IPS rank officer to carry out investigations into an alleged gang rape case in Solapur after the rape survivor approached the Court with her plea to transfer her case, accusing the present investigation team of protecting the accused.

The alleged gangrape took place on October 31, 2021, in Maharashtra’s Solapur area. Police recorded the victim’s statement in January 2022 and filed the chargesheet in February 2022.

The victim in her plea submitted on May 9 stated that police sidelined the statement of the victim recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and relied on an alibi of the accused while filing the chargesheet.

The HC bench has asked the magistrate court not to take any step on the chargesheet filed till further orders and has also directed DGO to conduct an inquiry against the investigating officer (IO) of the Solapur police.

The HC has also directed its registry to hand deliver a copy of the order to the Home Minister, Law minister of Maharashtra and State women’s commission for their information and record.

While passing the order on December 21, Bombay HC has observed that it is very unhappy over repeated cases of such nature where the police is allegedly involved in protecting the rape accused.

“It clearly appears to us that, the Investigating Officer with a view to protecting both the accused persons from the crime of higher degree has indulged into the said act. It further appears that he is interested in protecting the accused in such an offence of serious nature. The facts as unfurled are not only astonishing but flabbergasting and shake the consciousness of this court.

“In the circumstances, we hereby direct the Director General of Police, Maharashtra to personally peruse the record of the investigation and transfer the investigation of the present crime to a Senior Officer of the IPS Cadre to further investigate the present crime. The DGP is also directed to instruct the concerned Officer not to relegate his powers further to any subordinate officer, taking into consideration the serious nature of the case”

Court further said, “It is to be noted here that, we have come across at least three such cases in last three weeks wherein the statement of the prosecution has been totally disbelieved in the grave and a serious offense under Section 376 of the IPC by not following the law enunciated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its catena of decisions. This week itself, this is the second case we have come across, wherein Police did not adhere to basic principles of investigation”.

“In view of the above, we direct the Registrar General, High Court Bombay to communicate this Order to the Hon’ble Home Minister, Government of Maharashtra, the Hon’ble Law Minister, Government of Maharashtra, the Hon’ble Chairperson, Maharashtra State Commission For Women by hand delivery for their information and record”.

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