Court raps police for shoddy investigation

Coming down heavily on the Mumbai Police, sessions Judge P G Ganediwala Monday said police apathy and a botched-up probe made it difficult for prosecution to prove rape charges against a 60- year-old security guard who had sexually assaulted a four-year-old child in Santacruz's Kalina Education Society.

While Telam Singh was booked for rape, he was convicted only under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section for unnatural offence as the police had delayed in registering a case. "Police carried out a shoddy investigation. Police showed apathy and insensitivity in registering the case," the court observed.

According to the prosecution, the victim's mother had approached the police soon after her child confided in her that she was abused by the school's security guard.

However, when the child's mother took her to the police, instead of registering complaint the police called the school management.

Intimidated by the people around her, the child kept mum. According to the complainant, the police and the school management both intimidated her and asked her to take the complaint back.

Two police constables are facing a department inquiry in the case. They are accused of not registering the case and asking the complainant to return a day later. The court observed Monday that due to this delay, valuable medical evidence was lost.

"The child was examined a few days after the incident. By then her mother had already washed her clothes," said Persis Sidhwa, a watching advocate from NGO Majlis, who has been following the case closely.

The prosecution also pointed out discrepancy in the medical examination conducted. According to the prosecution, soon after the incident, when the police refused to register the case, the complainant had taken her child to Sion Hospital. "She was sent back. Only two days later, after the complainant went back to the hospital, did the doctors admit that the child suffered injuries and the hymen had ruptured," said Majlis' advocate Flavia Agnes.

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