The Kerala High Court on Monday came down heavily on the police, condemning their laxity in the case related to sexual harassment charges filed against a Naval official and his colleagues at the Southern Naval Command, Kochi.
The Court observed that “it’s pity the police took a casual approach and did not care to register a crime involving an offence of gang rape”.
Justice B Kemal Pasha made the observation while dismissing the anticipatory bail plea by Naval officer Lt Ravi Kiran Kabdaula, whose wife had filed a complaint before the Harbour police raising a number of allegations including sexual harassment charges against him and his colleagues.
“Even now, the matter is being proceeded with as just a matrimonial case registered under Section 498 A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of IPC.
It seems that the petitioner had even approached the Court by taking shelter under the aid he is getting from the Kerala police, and by treating the case against him just as a matrimonial offence of cruelty towards a married woman”, it was observed.
The case diary clearly reveals that the accused, who are high ranking officers in the Indian Navy, were being protected by the investigating officers for no apparent reason. “This is a serious matter, which has to be dealt with seriously by the police and a thorough investigation has to be carried out”, the Court held.
The Court also pointed out that page number 10 and 11 of the complaint, appended with the First Information Report, uncover the brutality the woman allegedly faced at the hands of the petitioner, his colleagues and superior officers of the Navy. According to her, the petitioner (her husband) forcibly took her to the room and, along with his friends, tied her down on a table. She clearly stated that when his friends started touching her body in the presence of her husband, she resisted and protested. She was molested and all her clothes were taken away. Nobody was there to hear her cries or to help her, the HC pointed out. The victim had also stated that Lt Ajay Krishnan, Lt Ishwar Chandra, Lt Deepak Kumar, Capt Ashok Aukte and Commodore B Anand caught her by hair and molested her. She said she was helpless and was begging with the officers, and when they satisfied their lust they went away. However the police has not taken it seriously, the court observed.