Allahabad high court seeks update on Mainpuri girl death case
The Allahabad high court on Thursday directed the Uttar Pradesh government and police to update the court with the progress in the probe into the 2019 mysterious death of a 16-year old Mainpuri girl-- found hanging in a school—alleged to be a case of sexual assault and murder by her family.
The court also asked the government to direct officers to complete the investigation of rape cases within two month or within the time limit as per amended provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedures or CrPC.
The court also directed the police to ensure that the family members of the girl are not pressured during the investigation and their safety is ensured.
The bench comprising acting chief justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and justice AK Ojha passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by one Mahendra Pratap Singh alleging police were not investigating the case fairly and protecting the actual accused. The petitioner had said that the special investigation team (SIT) formed for the investigation was not acting independently.
The state government told the court that the concerned investigation officer (IO), assistant superintendent of police (ASP) and the deputy superintendent of police (DSP), who were initially investigating the case, were suspended by the state government and a new SIT has been formed for fresh investigation. The director general of police (DGP), present in the court on Thursday, confirmed the development.
Senior advocate Amrendra Nath Singh, also the president of the Bar Association, is helping the court in the case. He suggested that the probe of the case be monitored by the bench. The court then directed concerned authorities to update it with the progress in the investigation on the expiry of one month, when the case will be heard next.
Senior advocate Amrendra Nath Singh told the court that the mother of the girl had alleged that her daughter had claimed she was being tortured by the principal as she knew some of the schools’ secrets. Singh added that the girl had called her mother just a day prior to her death to report receiving threats to her life, but when family members spoke to the principal, she paid no heed.
The court suggested that the investigating officer must collect the call details of the concerned phone numbers which can be material evidence in the case.
During the course of the hearing, the court said shoddy investigations were often the reason behind the poor rate of conviction in India. “We are aware of the fact that the conviction rate in India is just above 6%, the reason is poor or manipulated investigation by the police. Most of the time material evidence is not collected in a scientific manner and hence, experts fail to reach any conclusion resulting in acquittal of accused persons in most of the cases.”