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2018 sexual assault case: Lucknow top cop orders inquiry after court raises queries on closure report

The court found that the police had filed a closure report in the case without recording the victim’s statement under Section 164 of CrPC, which is mandatory.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
September 19, 2021 4:49:34 am
DK Thakur said the points raised by the court would be looked into during the inquiry and a report would be sent to DGP headquarters for necessary action.

Lucknow police commissioner DK Thakur has ordered an inquiry into some questions raised by a local court after rejecting a closure report filed in the case of sexual assault of a girl in 2018.

The court found that the police had filed a closure report in the case without recording the victim’s statement under Section 164 of CrPC, which is mandatory.

In an order passed on September 7, the court called for further investigation into the case and directed the Lucknow police commissioner to take necessary action against the investigating officers in the case—then circle officer of the Cantonment and the then Superintendent of Police (North), who was the supervising officer in the case for ‘carelessness’. The court further directed that a copy of its order be sent to the director general of police, Uttar Pradesh.

The case was initially investigated by Deputy SP Tanu Upadhyay before she was transferred. Thereafter, the case was assigned to Deputy SP Dr. Beenu Singh, who completed the probe. IPS Sukirti Madhav was SP (North) at the time.

DK Thakur said the points raised by the court would be looked into during the inquiry and a report would be sent to DGP headquarters for necessary action.

Upadhyay is currently posted in Kanpur Dehat district, while Singh is serving in Unnao. Madhav is currently superintendent of police in Shamli district.

The court observed that failure to record the victim’s statement under Section 164 of the CrPC was not a mistake on the part of three senior police officers but showed ‘carelessness’ on their part.

The case in question pertains to a 15-year-old girl, who was alleged to have been sexually assaulted by a youth while she was on her way home on September 28, 2018. It was alleged that the accused misbehaved with the victim and also tore off her clothes. Reaching home after managing to escape from the spot, the girl narrated her ordeal to her parents. Later, the victim and her family visited the local police outpost to file a complaint.

It was alleged that as they returned home, the accused arrived at the spot and abused the victim and her family and even threatened them with dire consequences.

A case was filed against the accused under IPC sections 354-B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation). The police also invoked the SC/ST Act, as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act against the accused.

Upadhyay, who was the then circle officer, Cantonment, failed to record the victim’s statement before submitting her report to then supervising officer Madhav.

While going through the report, Madhav overlooked the fact that it did not have the victim’s statement as is mandated under Section 164 of CrPC. The supervising officer, however, ordered further investigation in the case stating that filing closure reports on the basis of affidavits is not propriety.

The second investigating officer in the case also did not have the victim record her statement before the magistrate and submitted the closure report after completing a few formalities to Madhav.

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