Delhi Court asks Senior Police Officer to sensitise juniors in sexual offence cases

NEW DELHI: A senior Delhi Police officer has been directed by a city court to sensitise its officials to prudently deal with cases of sexual assault and adhere to the mandates of higher courts.

Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra passed the direction while pulling up the police for not complying with its order to assess the threat perception and provide security to an alleged rape victim, who is now missing.

“It is very strange that in a case where the court has ordered to assess threat perception and provide security to the complainant/rape victim, she is now missing,” the court said, adding the officials had given a “deaf ear” to its order.

The court also directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) concerned to look into the issue and file a status report before it on July 31.

“The DCP is also directed to sensitise the officers to deal with cases of sexual assault with prudence and keeping in view the mandates given by the higher courts,” it said.

The court was hearing a complaint filed by a woman alleging that she was raped, illegally confined and threatened by the accused persons. The court had then called for a status report from the police.

During the first hearing in the court, the woman sought to withdraw her complaint without giving any reason, which prompted the court to direct the police to assess the threat perception and provide necessary security to her.

On March 23, the additional DCP of north district filed a report stating that the woman could not be contacted as she was not found residing at her given address and her mobile phone was also switched off.

The court, however, noted that on the same day, another sub-inspector filed a separate report before it stating that the woman gave a written statement to him claiming that she had given the complaint under some pressure and her signatures were taken on a blank paper to falsely implicate the accused.

When she came to know that she was being misused, she moved an application in the court to stop legal proceedings.

The court noted that the reports filed by the two police officials were “absolutely contradictory”.

“In his report, the additional DCP is informing the court that the complainant is not traceable, whereas to the contrary the sub inspector recorded the hand-written statement of the complainant and placed it before the court.

“It is not understood that when the complainant was traceable, why threat assessment was not done as directed by the court on March 22,” the magistrate said in its order.

The court said it was clear that the conduct on the part of the two officials has remained “negligent”.