PUCL Bulletin, March 2002

Police found guilty of rape

By S. Ali Manzar, Advocate, Banda, UP PUCL

P.U.C.L. Banda (U.P.) achieved a glorious victory when accused police personnel of notorious police gang rape of 14 year girl Kumari Rinki Soni. A police constable was convicted for 7 years R-I with Rs. 5000/- fine in 376(1) IPC and 10 years R-I with 10,000/- fine in 376(2) IPC, 3 months R-I with Rs. 1,000/- fine in 342 IPC due to successful legal assistance of P.U.C.L. Banda Unit.

At a distance of 50 yards from Sub Police Station on 6th April 99 at about 4 P.M. broad daylight in Mohalla Khinni Naka, Banda, three police constables raped 14 years girl Miss Rinki Soni while she was going from her house to her neighbour's house. Police constable Lalji Yadava caught her from behind & shut her mouth, dragged her inside his rented house where two others police personnel were also present, they raped her one by one. She became unconscious for some time, when she resumed sense she found herself locked and confined in house. She cried loudly and her mother and public gathered. After breaking of lock she was taken out. City Kotwali police was avoiding lodging F.I.R. against their subordinate staff but on successful persuasion of P.U.C.L., social workers, and general public, Kotwali police was compelled to lodge F.I.R. of this rape incident after 5 hours of the incident as crime number 151/99 U/S 376,342 IPC.

At the same time, Kotwali city police of Banda also registered false case against 250 persons including social workers, press reporters at crime no. 152/99 U/S 353, 435,504, 506 1PC, and imposed undeclared curfew in Banda City. Many raids were conducted for arrest of innocent social workers and press reporters including Shri Manoj Kumar Gupta. In order to build undue pressure, police authorities were favouring indirectly their subordinate staff accused persons. Mr. Shiv Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Ashok Awasthi, President, PUCL, S. Ali Manzar, Anand Sinha announced free legal assistance. Miss Rinki Soni was medically examined by Govt. lady Doctor and her statement U/S 164 Cr PC recorded by judicial magistrate.

PUCL Banda had taken this matter very seriously as it had shocked peaceful atmosphere of public. It deputed prosecution panel for assistance of the victim and other innocent falsely implicated social workers & press reporters. PUCL state unit through K.K. Roy, and R.K. Jain Senior Advocate filed writ petition No. 4432/99 against S.P., Banda and Kotwal, Sub-Inspectors for handcuffing and humiliating arrest of press reporter Shri Manoj Kumar Gupta. Hon'ble High Court called explanation from respondents.

After a high-level enquiry the case registered against 250 social workers was found to be false and concocted and had to be withdrawn by the Government. The Police chargesheeted the named accused, Lalji Yadav. Two others were unidentified and were acquitted. Mr. S. Ali Manzar, Advocate, Joint Secretary U.P. PUCL with assistance of DG Cr Shri Shivlochan Verma examined 7 prosecution witnesses including Rinki and her mother, the lady doctor, the radiologist who corroborated full prosecution case beyond reasonable doubt. Presence of positive spermatozoa confirmed the rape incident. Mr. S. Ali Manzar, Advocate of PUCL panel argued this case & demanded exemplary punishment to accused police constable, he said that accused police raped the law, deserve no leniency of society.

It was very shameful for a member of state police machinery to commit rape. Mr. J.P. Narayan, Special Judge, Banda pronounced conviction on 03/12/2001 in open court The court room was full to capacity. Everyone is appreciating the role of P.U.C.L. because it was difficult for the poor victim and her family to face the threats from the police.

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