Expressing its anger at the “institutional indifference” towards crimes against women, a city court has directed the Delhi Police to take action against a male sub-inspector for “deliberately delaying” investigation in a case of eve teasing and molestation.
The order was issued on an anticipatory bail plea filed by south Rohini resident Sandeep Shokeen, who has been accused of molesting a woman who had been travelling with a colleague on a motorcycle in February this year.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau, while dismissing the anticipatory bail plea on Monday, also made critical remarks on the role of senior police officers in the district for failing to respond to inquiries made by the court. “In the present case, there is an insensitivity, indifference and apathy galore even at the level of the senior officer of the district. In cases of eve-teasing and molestation, the seriousness of the offence lies not in the extent of punishment it carries, but on the impact it has on the social psyche and public order. What starts as eve-teasing, ends up as rapes, murders, acid attacks… Does the police not realise the extent of the problem?” said Lau.
The court order notes that during the course of hearing of the bail application, the Additional Commissioner of Police, Outer District, who is the ‘district head’ of the police, was directed to explain the monitoring of the investigations by the ACP and supervision by the DCP concerned in the case. The court had also asked the police to inform whether the directions of the Supreme Court to curb eve-teasing had been implemented in the district. However, no reports were filed by the police despite court orders.
According to the complaint, the woman and her colleague were followed and harassed by a group of men travelling in a car. They allegedly blocked the motorcycle and molested the woman while manhandling her colleague. Shokeen was identified as an accused as the complainant gave the registration number of the car, which is owned by Shokeen. However, the investigating officer in the case has not yet collected evidence from CCTVs in the area and had failed to conduct the test identification parade to identify the accused in the case. The court also noted that the vehicle allegedly involved in the incident had not been seized by the same officer, and said he had further attempted to mislead the court by claiming that the car in question had been a “big car”, and not a Hyundai Eon as the victim mentioned in her complaint.