A Delhi court will pronounce its order on a plea by another African woman seeking registration of fresh FIR against unknown persons for allegedly molesting her during the recent midnight raid by a group purportedly led by city Law Minister Somnath Bharti.
Metropolitan Magistrate Chetna Singh on Tuesday reserved the order after Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) B S Jaiswal had refused to register separate case saying that she had been made witness in the first FIR relating to the same incident. The DCP’s report was vehemently opposed by the Ugandan woman’s counsel Rakesh Sherawat saying the “incident is common but the complainant is also a victim in the incident and she was also molested by few people out of the group of 10 and hence the offence on her body was committed separately”.
“I will pass the order tomorrow,” the judge said, after both police and the complainant’s counsel submitted their reply, as sought by it on January 25. The police on January 19 had lodged a FIR against unknown persons under various sections of the IPC, including 153-A (promoting enmity between classes), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (outraging women modesty), 509 (uttering any word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 147 (rioting) at the Malviya Nagar police station.
The FIR was lodged by police on court’s direction after an Ugandan woman had approached the court on January 18 seeking to lodge a criminal case against unknown persons. Later, the second African woman had moved the court seeking registration of a separate FIR alleging she was also molested by the group.
The second woman had claimed that the group had forcibly held her hands and took her out of the house along with her sisters who resides with her. After the court received the DCP’s response, it had asked the advocate to file a written submission by today in response to the reply filed by police on January 25.
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“The incident is common but the complainant is also the victim in the incident and she was also molested by few people out of group of 10 and hence the offence on her body was committed separately hence separate FIR is required,” Sherawat said in his two page reply before the court. The advocate further stated that “as per the report of the DCP, the complainant is already examined as a witness in earlier FIR… pertaining to the same incident, hence according to that report, status of the complainant remain as witness not as the victim.
“In that event the present complainant will have no right to prosecute the offender, who has committed the offence because law does not permit a witness to engage his counsel and participate in the trial from beginning to end,” he said. Sherawat also said the DCP’s report should be rejected and if possible the complainant should be made co-complainant in the first FIR, so that she has full right to prosecute the culprit.
Three foreign women had recorded their statements before a magistrate, in which they have alleged that Bharti, the MLA from Malviya Nagar, had barged into their house along with his supporters on the intervening night of January 15-16, court sources had said. In the earlier application filed before the court, the foreign national had alleged that she and the other women were subjected to a cavity search during their medical examination at AIIMS and the minister and his people had asked them in public to give urine samples.
Television footage on news channels had shown Bharti asking police officers to conduct the raid as he had received complaints of drugs and prostitution racket in that area.