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Judiciary

SC directs Puducherry admin to set up SIT led by woman IPS officer to probe rape, cheating FIR against police officer [Read Order]

By Jhanak Singh      14 February, 2024 06:49 PM      0 Comments
SC directs Puducherry admin to set up SIT led by woman IPS officer to probe rape cheating FIR against police officer

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ordered for setting up a Special Investigation Team to probe charges of rape made by an Associate Professor at an engineering college against a police officer.

The apex court emphasised that bounden duty of every court of law that injustice wherever visible must be hammered and the voice of a victim of the crime is dispassionately heard.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanathan directed the Puducherry administration to constitute the SIT to be headed by a directly recruited woman IPS Officer to probe the charges within three months.

The woman lodged the FIR in 2014. She alleged the officer pretended to marry the petitioner, even though he was already married with another woman and forced her to undergo abortion twice between 2012 and 2014.

The police, however, filed the charge sheet filed for diluted charges under Sections 354A and 506 of the IPC. Instead of protest petition, she filed an application before judicial magistrate under Section 173(8) of the CrPC for further investigation.

"We fail to understand what prevented the magistrate from treating that application purportedly filed under Section 173(8) of CrPC as a protest petition and then decide the same on merits," the bench said.

The court said it was a fit case where the Judicial Magistrate ought to have invoked his power under Section 173(8) of CrPC and directed the investigating officer to further investigate such serious allegations since the denial of further investigation has led to gross injustice to the appellant.

"A technicality like the caption of the application/petition could not be an impediment to consider the substance thereof and then determine whether or not the matter required further investigation so as to find out the prima facie element of offences under Sections 376, 417 and 420 of the IPC. Such a permissible procedural recourse has been unfortunately overlooked by the High Court as well," the bench said.

The court allowed the appeal filed by the woman against the Madras High Court's order, saying it was not sure whether police tried ascertain veracity of charges by collecting evidence from neighbourhood or from the hospital.
 

[Read Order]



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