“Grisly, frightful, can only hope it is fiction:” Punjab & Haryana High Court orders all-woman SIT to probe rape allegations against Police

The Punjab & Haryana High Court on May 25 constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprised entirely of woman officers to probe the allegations of rape of a 38-year-old widow by police officers.
The Court noted that the allegations contained in the petition are grisly and frightful and the Court can only hope that the same are fictitious as claimed by the State.
Among other directions, Justice Arun Monga ordered a woman officer to head the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the matter, after pulling up the authorities for constituting an all-male team initially.
“It is rather intriguing, given the nature of sensitive investigation, that no lady police official has been involved, which is even otherwise the requirement of law in cases of this kind. To say the least, it is highly deplorable to see the insensitiveness with which the district police officials have acted, in constituting the SIT having all male members,” the judge said.
In this case, Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) officials were accused of coercing a 38-year old woman into giving sexual favours.
When she refused to acceded to their demands, the CIA officials allegedly planted drugs on her son against whom a false case under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was charged.
To this end, the police were also accused of having picked up the woman’s son on May 6, while he was recovering from COVID-19 at home.
The Court was told that the woman gave in to the sexual demands of the CIA staff in a bid to get her son released from their custody.
A pen drive containing recorded conversations with the ASI and video clippings was submitted to the Court to substantiate allegations that she was raped by the police. The State termed the same a “honey trap”, that later boomeranged on the woman.
The truth will only unfold once it is properly investigated, in accordance with law, the Judge said.
He went on to order that Gurpreet Deo, Additional Director General of Police head the SIT probe into the allegations. She was also tasked with investigating the NDPS case lodged against the woman-complainant’s son.
The other members of the SIT team are D Sudarvizhi, Senior Superintendent of Police, Mukatsar Sahib and Prabhjot Kaur, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Budhlada, Mansa.
Further the Court has also ordered that the woman-complainant’s identity be kept confidential to maintain her privacy, including by deleting her name from court records.
The State has also undertaken to get information on what steps have been taken to implement the “Witness Protection Programme”, in view of the woman-complainant’s apprehensions that the police officials invoved in the case may try to harm her or tamper with evidence.
Further, the State is also expected to appraise the Court of the progress in investigation so far as well as the departmental action taken, if any. The matter has been posted for further hearing today (May 27).

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