Mayor ‘trespass’ row: Chandigarh police file case cancellation report
The Chandigarh Police have filed a cancellation report in a local court in the case involving alleged trespass by city mayor Asha Jaswal at Snehalaya, a home for the destitute in Maloya, in the first week of February.punjab Updated: Mar 28, 2017 10:21 IST
The Chandigarh Police have filed a cancellation report in a local court in the case involving alleged trespass by city mayor Asha Jaswal at Snehalaya, a home for the destitute in Maloya, in the first week of February.
After the police submitted an application in this regard in the court of judicial magistrate (first class) Imanbir Singh Dhaliwal on Friday, the complainant in the case, Nishu Singhal, director, UT social welfare department, on Monday recorded her statement, claiming that she had no objection if the cancellation report is accepted.
Asha Jaswal and two Bharaitiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors Rajesh Kalia and Ravi Kant Sharma were booked for trespass and violating provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for meeting a victim of sexual assault.
The court will take up the matter on Tuesday.
A senior police officer said, “We have sought cancellation of case since we could not substantiate the allegations during our investigation. Even the cameras installed on the premises of Snehalya were not working at that time. Besides, the eyewitnesses’ account did not corroborate with the allegations made by the complainant.”
Nishu Singhal could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.
On January 31, the police had booked a 12-year-old boy for allegedly sodomising a 10-year-old at Snehalaya. On February 3, the mayor and the two councillors visited the home. The same day, the social welfare department director lodged a complaint with the police that the three entered the premises without permission and that their meeting a sexual assault victim violated the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
She said the visitors can meet children only in the presence of a child welfare officer. As per the complaint, they also videotaped the employees who were made to stand in a queue.
The police had been reluctant to make any arrests in the case. “Looking at the sensitivity of the case and the people involved, we can’t take immediate action. As per the complaint, the mayor and the co-accused violated the law but we are yet to establish the allegations,” an officer had claimed.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association had written to UT administrator VP Singh Badnore seeking direction to the police to properly investigate the matter. The mayor herself is a lawyer. The district bar association, Chandigarh, had also submitted a representation to UT administrator asking for a magisterial inquiry against Snehalaya. It had also demanded the cancellation of the FIR against the mayor.