Allahabad: Taking a serious note of inordinate delay of three months in filing an FIR on the basis of a complaint lodged by a rape survivor, the Allahabad High Court has directed the Allahabad SSP and the SHO of Phoolpur police station to appear before it on October 20. Hearing a writ petition filed by the rape survivor seeking the registration of a case against culprits, a division bench comprising Justice Shashi Kant Gupta and Justice Pankaj Bhatia observed that “the present petition highlights the laxity shown by the officers in triggering the criminal justice system”.

“The sequence of the evidence on the basis of instructions received highlights the sheer callousness of the police authorities in lodging the FIR after about three months of the alleged incident that too only after this court had intervened and had called for instructions,” the court said. “It is well settled that the information disclosing a cognizable offence should be initiated with all expedition, the same is also necessary so as to bring the prosecution to its logical conclusion fairly,” it said.

The Allahabad HC, in an order passed on Thursday said, “In the present case, the laxity, which has been done at the behest of the police authorities, has not been explained at all.” The court said there is no explanation as to why so much time was taken for lodging the FIR and for proceeding in accordance with the complaint made by the petitioner for such a long time. It said there is nothing on record as to what action was taken by the senior superintendent of police (SSP) except merely forwarding the application of the petitioner before the station house officer.

“On a prima facie consideration, this court is of the view that on account of the laxity of the police officials, the prosecution may be seriously affected, the action taken by the SHO the form of lodging of the FIR on October 13, 2020 and the subsequent medico legal examination of the petitioner on October 14, 2020, are prima facie a hogwash,” the order said. “Considering the facts, which prima facie disclose the laxity on the part of the police authorities, this court is of the view that the matter needs to be taken seriously,” it said.

The petitioner has alleged that she was raped by four people on July 11, 2020 and she lodged a complaint but an FIR was not registered in the matter. Thereafter, the petitioner claims to have submitted an application before the SSP on July 22, highlighting that despite her best efforts, the case was not being registered.

She again filed an application on July 23 informing the SSP that the case was still not filed. Ultimately, the petitioner approached the court. The state counsel informed the court that a complaint dated July 23 was forwarded by the petitioner to the SSP.

The complaint was then forwarded by the SSP to the Phoolpur police station for further action. The FIR was finally registered at Phoolpur police station on October 13 under relevant sections of the IPC.

The woman’s statement was also recorded on October 14.

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