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HC clean chit to retired IAS officer, kin in 2014 rape case

October 04, 2018 05:52 AM

COURTESY HT OCT 4

HC clean chit to retired IAS officer, kin in 2014 rape case
Court says filing of supplementary challan by police ‘nothing but abuse of process of law’
CHANDIGARH: Ordering the quashing of criminal proceedings against former Haryana IAS officer RP Bhardwaj and his family members, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the filing of a supplementary challan against them by the Gurgaon police was “nothing but an abuse of the process of law”.

The case had gained prominence in 2015 when an inquiry by then Gurgaon joint commissioner of police Bharti Arora revealed botched-up investigation.

Arora was shifted out after she accused the then commissioner of police Navdeep Virk of interfering in the probe.

Justice HS Madaan of the HC in its September 27 order said that subsequent action of the police in conducting further investigation without any direction or permission from the court and then filing supplementary challan does not make any sense. There was nothing on record to show that the investigating agency later came across substantial evidence against them, the court said Wednesday.

Navdeep Singh Virk, now the additional director general of police, Karnal range, said he is unaware of the High Court order issued on Wednesday quashing the FIR in the case.

THE CASE

The matter pertained to the registration of a July 2014 FIR against Ajay Bhardwaj, son of retired IAS officer RP Bhardwaj under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) at Gurgaon.

Later, the police also named RP Bhardwaj, his wife, daughters and two other sons in the

supplementary challan as accused.

The complainant had alleged that Ajay developed physical relations with her stating he was divorced and intended to marry her. She also alleged that Ajay and his parents had cheated her. The case was investigated by the police and, initially, only Ajay was challaned.

POLICE NAMES FAMILY AS ACCUSED

During the course of trial against Ajay Bhardwaj, an application under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) for summoning of his family members as additional accused was moved by the complainant. It was, however, dismissed by the trial court on March 3, 2015.

The trial court observed that the allegations levelled by the complainant against them were vague and the police, after due investigation, did not find their involvement.

However, the Gurgaon police filed a supplementary challan under Section 173 (8) of CRPC against them without the permission of the court.

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST FAMILY HOLLOW: COURT

The HC in its order said the main thrust of allegations was against Ajay Bhardwaj, who has since been booked and is facing trial. Ajay’s parents and family have no direct concern with the complainant.

“The observations made by the trial court, while dismissing application to summon petitioners as additional accused, points out towards hollowness of the allegations,’’ the HC said.

 

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