Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time to act against erring sleuths, lawyers, says HC

Accused Acquitted In Rape Case

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court has called for strict action against erring or incompetent investigating officers and prosecutors, whose failure results in injustice for either victims or accused in serious offences like rape.
    The court has come down heavily on cops and government lawyers for their casual approach or even complicity and thereby failing the victims in securing justice.
    The court has referred the case to the higher ups in the state government recommending inquiry and strict action against those involved in dishonest investigation and indifferent prosecution.
    In this case, four persons, including Vikram Gohil, were acquitted in an abduction and rape case by a Vadodara court in February last year.
    The state government sought the high court's permission to challenge the acquittal. On this, the bench of Justice D H Waghela and Justice G R Udhwani noticed that it apparently looked that the girl had willingly accompanied the offenders and hence the allegations of rape were not proved.
    After observing that the victim's stand itself looked shaky, the judges came down heavily on officials involved in the case. “It is time and again noticed that the prosecution fails mainly because of incompetence, disinterest or complicity of the investigation officer in failing to secure necessary evidence,” the bench said.
    “…even in cases of gross failure of the prosecution, no actions are taken against any investigation officer and only a formal filing of appeal and an application for leave to appeal are resorted to, obviously with a view to finishing the formality of exhausting judicial remedy,” the court said adding that such exercise results in waste of judicial time by the state government.
    The court said, “It is high time that the investigation officer, as well as, the prosecutor concerned are held accountable and appropriate actions are taken against them after giving them opportunity to explain in the circumstances leading to the failure…failure of the prosecution in genuine cases of serious offences erodes people's faith in the rule of law.”
    The HC directed the government to take measure for “improving and streamlining the process of investigation and prosecution at trial court level itself”.
    The court also asked the government to stop prosecuting people on “defective or dishonest investigation and then filing of appeals only because it results into burdening the already overburdened judicial system at the cost of litigants with grievances, who have to wait for justice for year”.
Man gets 7 years in jail for raping minor
Ahmedabad:A city sessions court on Thursday convicted a person to seven-year imprisonment for raping a 13-year-old in 2011.
    Deepak Dantani was held guilty by additional sessions judge BS Upadhyay. The court, however, acquitted two others - Dashrat Jagmalbhai and Gopi Dantani for want of evidence.
    Deepak and the other two were chargesheeted in the rape case involving a minor girl in Isanpur in the city on September 12, 2011. The medical evidence nailed the culprit, said public prosecutor Varsha Rao, who demanded maximum punishment for the heinous crime. TNN