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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Justice Mehra Commission raps Delhi Police

PTI  New Delhi, February 22, 2013
First Published: 21:16 IST(22/2/2013) | Last Updated: 21:20 IST(22/2/2013)

Justice Usha Mehra Commission has rapped the Delhi Police and the city transport department, saying lack of coordination between them allowed the bus used in December 16 gangrape case to ply uninterrupted despite being fined many times.

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The Commission also said there was no coordination between the capital's police and its counterparts in the neighbouring regions and sought framing of rules for better cooperation.

"We have recorded the statement of officials of the Delhi Police and the city transport department. We have found that there was lack of coordination between the police and the transport department. Despite being challaned many times, there was no action to prevent plying of the bus," Justice Mehra told reporters here after handing over the report to law minister Ashwani Kumar.

She said, "There was non-coordination between the police of NCT (National Capital Territory) and the NCR (National Capital Region). There is no rule so far on how will they work together if there is a crime.

"Rules must be framed on how to coordinate. There should be sensitisation at all levels," she said.

On the report of the Commission, which was constituted to inquire into various aspects of the December 16 incident, Justice Mehra said when the accused were driving the bus on the roads in south Delhi while brutally assaulting the 23-year-girl, there was no police control room (PCR) van to stop the bus or police picket on the roads.

She, however, said response of the police was "very quick" when the girl and her friend called for help and within six minutes of the message, a PCR van reached the stop and immediately took them to the hospital for treatment and this was corroborated by the friend of the deceased girl. The girl died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

The law minister said the central government will take suitable action to the extent possible on the recommendations of the Commission.

"The Commission prepared the report ahead of time. It has concentrated on three to four principal issues - sensitisation of police, coordination of the police and transport departments and sensitisation of the media," he said.

The Commission has suggested that there should be a revisit on the education standards and "girls should be taught about what is good gesture and what is bad gesture".

Justice Mehra, a retired judge of the Delhi High Court, said a system should be put in place in which there should be a "push button in mobile phones through which family or police could be reached immediately when anyone is in distress".

The Commission also suggested amendment in section 231 of CrPC dealing with evidence recorded by judge being treated as 'examination on chief' and that there should be provision for cross-examination through video conferencing.

Justice Mehra said the Commission has suggested separation of investigation agency from law and order duties.

The Commission said action should be taken against auto rickshaws which refuse to carry commuters and enhancement of DTC bus fleet as public transport in Delhi was not adequate.

Union home secretary RK Singh, who was also present, said the home ministry has come to the conclusion after technical analysis that response of the PCR van to the call of December 16 victims could have been faster.

On the report of the Justice Verma Commission which suggested that some policemen were allegedly involved in rape of a girl but no action was taken against them, Singh said, "We will find out the truth and if anyone is found guilty, stringent action will be taken. We will also protect the identity of the witnesses".

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