The Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay High Court that it has initiated an inquiry against erring police officers for merely recording the statement of an accused in a rape case and letting him go without taking action.
A deputy commissioner of police is conducting the probe against the erring officers on the orders of the court.
Public prosecutor D A Nalawade submitted that he was hopeful that the inquiry would be taken to its logical end.
He also gave an assurance that during the period when the erring officers are facing inquiry, they would not be entrusted with the investigation of offences against women.
Hearing a bail plea of accused Rasik Maru, the court noted that a woman had complained that she was raped by him.
However, police recorded his statement but did not arrest him.
Not just this, a document purported to be signed by the complainant was taken on record by police which said that it was not rape but consensual sex.
The victim alleged in her complaint that the police authorities were misusing their powers and recorded statement of accused and exonerated him at the threshold.
Counsel for the complainant, Prafulla Shah alleged that she was called to Andheri police station for four hours and mentally harassed by police.
"It is a pathetic situation that police officers are least concerned with the complaints made by women in distress.
It is due to their action that the women would not have faith in police machinery and therefore, most of the genuine cases are not reported to the police," observed Justice S S Jadhav.
"It is a sorry state of affairs that when government issues a circular directing the police authorities to call the accused and the complainant in a case registered under section 498A (cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code, the police officers do not call upon the concerned parties," said the judge.
"In the present case, when complaint is filed under section 376(rape) of IPC, the police, including women police, have called upon the accused and recorded his statement as if they want to reconcile the dispute between the accused and the complainant and coerce the latter to withdraw her complaint," the judge observed in her order last week.