While both Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan, whose arrests over a Facebook post had caused widespread outrage, were happy that the police had filed a closure report in the FIR that had been registered against them, legal experts believe that police took the easy way out by filing a ‘C’ summary closure report, which essentially applies to cases registered because of a ‘misunderstanding’.
Experts believe that a ‘B’ summary closure report — for registering cases with malicious purpose — should have been filed instead, which would have invited legal action against both the complainant and the policemen who registered the FIR.
Both Srinivasan and Shaheen were thrilled with the decision. “I am very happy that the charges against us have been withdrawn. I won’t ever forget the night I was suddenly booked in a police case. I am thankful to the media and people who stood by us,” said Shaheen. “I do not know of the technicalities yet, so I cannot comment on the summary report.”
Shaheen’s uncle Dr Abdul Dhada, whose hospital had been vandalised said, “It is one of the family’s happiest moments. The police should now focus on bringing those who vandalised the hospital to justice.” He added, “There were reports that Dhada family would shift out of Palghar following the incident, but such claims are baseless.”
However, former bureaucrat and lawyer Abha Singh said the ‘C’ summary closure report had been filed by the police only to shield its own men. “Some action has to be taken against the cops for filing a wrong complaint. Filing a ‘B’ summary report would have ensured that the policemen involved and the complainant did not go scot-free. It would have served as an example for others as well,” she said.
The three policemen have been suspended in the case. However, Singh said this was hardly enough, “Suspension is too small a punishment in the case. For the girls involved in the matter, it will be a life-long stigma. It is only fair that the policemen involved are also arrested.”
Singh said she was considering filing a petition with senior police authorities asking for the basis on which the ‘C’ summary closure report had been filed.
Noted lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said, “Considering the facts of the case, a ‘B’ summary report would have been more appropriate.” He, however added, “One can however appeal against the ‘C’ summary closure report before the magistrate concerned, asking for a ‘B’ summary closure report to be filed.”