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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Public prosecutor seeks probe against Mumbai woman cop who investigated rape of 15-year-old

Questions have been raised as to why the survivor made to take two medical exams, and why she turned hostile later

mumbai Updated: Apr 28, 2018 12:53 IST
During her deposition, the survivor refused to support the prosecution’s case.
During her deposition, the survivor refused to support the prosecution’s case.(Representational photo)

With the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) being amended to make it more effective, a case in Mumbai has turned the spotlight on the role of the police in bringing these crimes to book.

An enquiry has been sought against a police officer in a case involving a minor rape survivor. Last month, public prosecutor Geeta Sharma raised questions about how the investigation has been conducted, the way the rape survivor was treated and why she has turned hostile.

On March 31, 2016, a case was registered at Malabar Hill station in which a 15-year-old girl said she had been raped by her father. The girl spoke of her traumatic ordeal to her classmate who took her to their class teacher and the principal.

The school authorities helped her register a complaint under the POCSO Act. She said her father had raped her repeatedly under the influence of alcohol. She also said that she had told her mother of the sexual assault. The girl was sent to BYL Nair Charitable Hospital for a medical examination the same day. The medical report confirmed she had been raped.

However, investigating officer, sub-inspector Madhuri Mane, did not collect this report, in spite of reminders from the hospital. Instead, two days later, the girl was taken to JJ Hospital for another examination. According to this second report, the girl had not been raped. The report from JJ Hospital was submitted by the investigating officer but the first was not collected.

On May 13, 2016, Dr Swapnil Aakhade of BYL Nair Charitable Hospital wrote a note to Malabar Hill police station, saying the survivor had not been brought for psychological assessment and that her medical report had not been collected. Aakhade also mentioned the second test and wrote, “This is to inform you that the act does not permit repeat examination without valid reason in case of POCSO.”

The prosecution said that it found out about the existence of the first case only when the victim deposed before the court in July 2017 and revealed that she had been taken to BYL Nair Hospital for an examination. It also suggested that the girl’s family has tried to influence her so that she doesn’t cooperate with the prosecution.

During her deposition, the survivor refused to support the prosecution’s case.

After the preliminary investigation, the girl had been handed over to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), as she had said she did not want to return to her family. Her uncle got custody. However, it was later revealed that she was staying with her mother. The prosecutor has now raised questions about the police investigation.

In her application, Sharma has said it is suspicious that the victim was sent to JJ Hospital despite having undergone an examination. The prosecution has asked for an enquiry into the investigation conducted by sub-inspector Mane.

First Published: Apr 28, 2018 12:53 IST

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