POLICE APATHY IN GANG RAPE OF MINOR – In a first, cop faces trial under POCSO

Source: http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com
Feb 04 2015 : Mirror (Pune)

Vijay Chavan

Bombay HC refuses his criminal writ petition; API had refused to accept the 14-year-old’s complaint and instead asked the girl to return with her parents

A policeman attached to the Loni Kalbhor PS on Tuesday failed to get any relief from the Bombay High Court (HC) on Tuesday after it rejected the criminal writ petition, requesting cancellation of the issue process ordered by a special court in Pune in June, in connection with the gang rape of 14-yearold girl in Uruli Kanchan on February 22, 2014.
Now, Sanjay Ahiwale, the assistant police inspector, will stand trial in a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court.

The other accused in the case, senior inspector Suhas Garud, had also filed a writ, but was not present in the court on Tuesday.

His petition will be heard next week. This is the first instance of the trial of a cop under the stringent POCSO Act, 2012, in Pune district.

Instead of showing active interest in nabbing the suspects, the cops had asked the minor to go home and return with her parents when she had gone to lodge a complaint.

Taking advantage of police apathy, the four unidentified culprits had managed to escape and are still untraceable.

Anjali Pawar, director of the NGO, Sakhee, had filed the initial complaint in this case.

Talking to Pune Mirror, advocate Pradeep Havnur, who is representing the victim, said, “Ahiwale will stand a trial under Section 19 (1) of the POCSO Act. Justice M L Tahalayani also said that at first sight, there is no reason to entertain the writ, requesting an injunction on the order of the trial court.” On Garud, Havnur said, “Due to his absence, the court postponed the hearing to next week. We will oppose Garud’s petition under similar circumstances.” The duo was prosecuted by a special court under POCSO on June 25. They had also filed revision petitions, which the Bombay HC had refused to entertain. FLASHBACK According to the complaint, the minor, who was on her way to school, was kidnapped by four youths, who brought her to a deserted place located in the vicinity.While one raped her, the other three helped him. On seeing a bullock cart passing by, the suspects fled, leaving the girl there. Later, when the girl approached cops, the two cops sent her back on two different occasions, saying that she was a minor who was not accompanied by her parents.

Reportedly, the court took its stern step after the officers had ignored two bailable warrants and failed to appear for trial.

The two cops have also been found guilty in a departmental inquiry, following which the state home department punished them by stopping their salary increments.