The Bombay High Court has directed round-the-clock protection to a woman after her lawyer expressed serious apprehension to her life as she had raised voice against the police officer for dropping rape charges in a complaint filed by her.

The bench of Justice A. S. Gadkari and Justice Prakash D. Naik was dealing with the plea of the woman seeking transfer of investigation of crime under Sections 376, 376(2) (N), 376(D), 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

Advocate Vikrant V. Phatate appeared for the Petitioner-woman whereas APP M.H. Mhatre appeared for Respondent-State.

A perusal of FIR revealed that two accused persons had committed the offence as contemplated under Sections 376, 376(2) (N), 376(D), 504 and 506 of the IPC against the victim-woman-petitioner.

The Court noted that though prosecutrix in her statement categorically stated that, the accused persons have committed the crime under Section 376 of the IPC against her, the Investigating Officer while submitting charge-sheet/final report zealously ventured into dropping the said Sections namely 376, 376(2) (N), 376(D) of the IPC.

"It clearly appears to us that, the Investigating Officer with a view to protect both the accused persons from the crime of higher degree has indulged into the said act. It further appears to us that, he is interested in protecting accused in such an offence of serious nature.", the Court observed.

Thus the Court directed the Director General of Police, Maharashtra to peruse the record of investigation and transfer the investigation of present crime to a Senior Officer of IPS Cadre to further investigate the present crime.

The Court directed the DGP to submit his report on or before January 16, 2023.

The Court noted that in the last three weeks, three such cases were observed wherein the statement of prosecutrix was totally disbelieved in serious offence under Section 376 of the I.P.C. by not following the law enunciated by the Supreme Court.

Thus the Court directed Registrar General of the High Court to communicate this Order to the Home Minister of Maharashtra Government, the Law Minister of the State and Chairperson, Maharashtra State Commission for Women by hand delivery for their information.

At this stage, the Advocate for the Petitioner expressed serious apprehension to the life of the woman-petitioner, as she has gathered courage to raise voice against the police officer and the accused persons.

Therefore the Court directed round-the-clock protection to the petitioner-woman till further orders.

Cause Title- ABC v. Senior Inspector of Police & Ors

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