10 June 2009
Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India,
South Block, Raisana Hill,
New Delhi – 110001.
Sub: Demand for (a) CBI Investigation in the case of alleged rape of an elderly woman accused of dowry harassment and (b) immediate notification of The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2008.
This is to bring to your kind attention that an elderly woman accused in a dowry case was allegedly gang raped in police custody in Jamwada village, Betul Dist., Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. This incident came to light through an article entitled “Dowry accused gang raped by Bhopal cops in custody” published in the Times of India on 06 June 2009.
The above mentioned case of rape of an accused in police custody highlights serious failure of law enforcement in the country and also the horrific human rights violations perpetrated in the name of law enforcement.
Members of All India Forgotten Women (Regd.) request you to immediately order a CBI probe into the above mentioned rape case and ensure speedy justice to the victim.
In addition, we request you to please delve into the reasons why such atrocities are happening so that proper measures are taken to prevent their recurrence.
* The third report of the National Police Commission mentions that power of arrest was one of the chief sources of corruption in the police, and that nearly 60% of arrests were either unnecessary or unjustified.
* In the last four years alone, the UPA regime witnessed more than 1,23,497 women being arrested and most of them jailed under Section 498A of IPC, without evidence or investigation.
* On the other hand, statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2007 show that an overwhelming 94% of the individuals arrested under Section 498A of IPC were found not guilty.
It should be noted that the arrest of such large numbers of innocent citizens was possible only because of the unbridled powers granted to the police in India.
The previous UPA Government has to take responsibility for the arrest of thousands of innocent citizens, in addition to the above case of gang rape of an elderly woman in police custody. It is a shame that despite approval of the CrPC Amendment Bill of 2008 by the President of India, it is the UPA Government’s failure to notify the amendments which has resulted in the continued harassment of ordinary citizens by the police.
As per the amended Section 41 of CrPC, the Investigating Officer would have had to issue a notice of appearance to the accused, and obtain the permission of the concerned Magistrate to arrest her, if necessary. This provision imposes more accountability on the police while arresting the accused, and prevents the police from misusing their powers of arrest. Such a provision would have proved very beneficial in the above mentioned dowry case on an elderly woman.
The amended CrPC Bill of 2008 also requires speedy delivery of justice in rape cases, while providing utmost protection to the victim, and ensuring confidentiality of sensitive information during the case proceedings. Such provisions would be extremely useful in cases of rape, including the present instance of custodial rape of an elderly woman accused in a dowry case.
In light of the above facts, members of All India Forgotten Women (Regd.) request your Government to notify The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2008 in the Gazette of India, and ensure that its provisions are strictly implemented without further delay.
“Dowry accused gang raped by Bhopal cops in custody”. News report from the Times of India. 06 June 2009.
Her Excellency. Smt. Pratibha Patil, President of India
Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Shri. Veerappa Moily, Ministry of Law & Justice
Shri. P Chidambaram, Ministry of Home Affairs
Member Secretary, Law Commission of India
Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of UPA
Smt. Krishna Tirath, Ministry of Women and Child Development
Kum. Girija Vyas, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women