Delay in victim’s med examination led to evidence loss: CBI on Hathras case

LUCKNOW, DEC 20 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 12/20/2020 11:56:32 AM IST

Cops at the Chandapa police station who were first approached by the Hathras victim’s family after the alleged gangrape didn’t follow the laid down procedures of recording the statement and sending the girl for medical examination, the Central Bureau of Investigation has reportedly said in its chargesheet in the case.

The CBI has based its charges on the victim’s statement on September 22, which was considered as her ‘dying declaration’, in which she accused four youths of her village of raping and trying to strangulate her. The accused were unable to provide convincing alibis that they were not present at the scene of the crime at the time of the incident.
Reacting to the charges of lapses, a senior police official said that five cops, including the SP, were suspended, as soon as the government came to know about their negligence. “Our probe was going in the right direction and all four accused were arrested immediately after the girl named them. The CBI took our FIR which had all the sections under which the accused have been charged,” he said. Also, it was the UP government which recommended the CBI probe without any demand from the victim’s family, he added.
As per exclusive details available with TOI, the chargesheet, filed at a special court in Hathras, has pointed out that cops at the local Chandpa police station made the mistake of not properly recording the victim’s statement as per the mandate of Section 154 of the CrPC, when she and her family first reached to report the crime on September 14.
No woman officer, SHO at police stn examined victim: CBI report
The CBI report states that while the FIR lodged by the victim’s brother said that ‘the accused Sandeep tried to strangulate her with an intention to kill her’ the girl in one of the recordings, had mentioned ‘zabardasti’ (molestation, using force) but still she was not sent for medical examination and valuable forensic evidence couldn’t be saved.
The chargesheet also mentions that no woman officer or the station house officer at Chandapa police station bothered to examine the victim till September 19. The CBI team has also pointed out that on September 19, in another statement, the victim mentioned the term “chedhkhani” (teasing), but she was not sent for medical examination.
“...neither Section 354 (use of force with intention to rape) of the IPC or Section 376 (rape) of the IPC was added by the police in the beginning...,” the chargesheet mentions.
It was only on September 22, when she explicitly said “balatkar” (rape) in her statement at Aligarh hosital and mentioned the four accused that she was sent for medical examination, the CBI has said. In its concluding remarks, the central agency says: “The above negligence during the handling of the case by police as well as concerned authorities clearly led to delay in examination of victim...”. 
It adds that the lapse led to non-collection of crucial evidence in a timely manner. The chargesheet has also mentioned that the main accused, Sandeep, had an affair with the victim. Sandeep was her neighbour, and their acquaintance developed into a love affair, the chargesheet says, but has not linked it in any way with the crime.
As per the analysis of the call details record, as many as 105 calls from October 17, 2019 to March 3, 2020 were made between numbers owned by Sandeep and the victim’s family, the chargesheet says, adding that the fact that they used to talk on phone and were in a relationship was confirmed by many witnesses.
“Later, their relationship came into the knowledge of the family members and got dented (sic),” it says, adding “the victim’s father made a complaint to the pradhan’s son against Sandeep for making calls to the victim”.
Quoting another witness, the CBI has said after March 2020, there was no call from the girl’s side. Sandeep tried to contact her but she was trying to avoid him and his calls for some time, the witness has mentioned to the agency, adding “because of her changed behaviour, accused Sandeep was in frustration...(sic) The key evidence, says the agency, is the statements of the victim under dying declaration which established the charges against the accused. The CBI has also said that investigation has revealed the presence of the four accused in the village at the time of crime. One of the accused, Ravi, had claimed that he had gone to the milk collection center run by Shri Jai Kishan at 7.30am, but was not able to answer his whereabouts after that as the crime had taken place at 9.30am.
Similarly, Ramu was asked his whereabouts at the time of incident and was not able to explain because there was no rigid attendance system at Madhusoodan Dairy where he worked. Likewise, Luvkush was also not able to explain his position and place.
The reports from CFSL about phones, laptops and CCTV are awaited.
A senior UP police officer, on condition of anonymity, said that all the charges pressed by the CBI have been in sync with the UP police’s probe. “No separate FIR or charge has been added or subtracted from the one done by us,” he said, adding, “We shared only the FSL report of the victim which was inconclusive while the probe was still under way. It was not a conclusion.”

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