April 17, 2020 10:46:10 pm
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday declined to pass any directions for immediate arrest of the accused in a December 2019 gangrape case and observed that “some delay can be well explained” in current circumstances. However, the court also noted that allegations in the FIR are serious and the accused “ought to be arrested at the earliest”.
“However, at the same time judicial notice can be taken of the prevalent conditions of spread of pandemic where all the official machinery including the police is deployed for containing the spread of virus. In such circumstances, some delay in doing the needful can be well explained. As such, it is directed that the police shall do the needful in accordance with law as far as arrest of accused and investigation of the case is concerned while prioritizing the duties assigned pertaining to containment of spread of COVID-19,” reads the order passed by a single bench.
A woman had approached the High Court pleading that her 16-year-old daughter was gangraped in December 2019 but the accused, who live in the same village, are yet to be arrested and were threatening them to withdraw the case. She alleged that the accused are close to the Sarpanch and cited it as a reason for them not being arrested even after a period of four months. The HC was also told that swabs taken from the body of the victim are also yet to be sent for chemical examination.
The single bench in the order directed the SSP Tarn Taran to examine the allegations pertaining to the threats and do the “needful” at the earliest in case. Regarding the sending of samples for examination, the HC ordered that needful be done at earliest in case it cannot be preserved for long.
“As regards the swabs which are stated to be lying in the hospital and have not been sent for chemical examination on account of lack of signatures of the prosecutrix, the police is directed to get the signatures of the prosecutrix on the forwarding letter/requisite forms by deputing some woman police official who shall visit the residence of the petitioner for obtaining such signatures and the prosecturix be not asked to come to the police station or hospital for the said purpose,”reads the order.
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