New Delhi: A day after it was slammed for laxity in probe, the Delhi Police on Thursday tendered an unconditional apology to the Delhi High Court for not coming up with a satisfactory status report. The police has also submitted a fresh report containing the details of the name of the policemen who were present at the time when the 23-year-old victim and her friend sought help. The report also says that the role of the PCR van is being examined.
Meanwhile, the court's observation on the new status report said that the court is not inclined to monitor the probe as the chargesheet has been filed before the concerned court and has taken cognizance of it.
"Of the total 617 PCR vans in Delhi, 74 are off the road. Government should take appropriate action in this regard and should also look at whether the number of PCR vans need to be increased or not. As far as the directions issued regarding tinted glass are concerned, we reiterate that all such tinted glasses or curtains should be removed without any exception. The role and the duties that are to be assigned to the PCR be looked at. The police has assured that it will be looked at. This would be done without any delay."
The court also said, "We will keep the petition on directions related to medical treatment to victims and safety pending for further clarification. The government needs respond on the same about concrete measures that will be taken. The matter is now posted for January 31."
The court on Wednesday had took strong exception to the fact that only a junior police officer was suspended in connection with the gangrape of the 23-year-old paramedical student and that senior cops, including the Police Commissioner, were not made accountable. "Why only ACP, why not DCP, why not the Commissioner have been put to task?" a bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan said while expressing its anguish over the non-disclosure of the names of policemen who were patrolling the areas where the girl was raped in a moving bus on December 16.
The court also warned the city police that it cannot be blamed for any "consequential order". "We had directed you to give the names of the officials posted on relevant PCR vans and the areas concerned. Today also, we are not convinced (from the status report) because the names of the officials have not been given. You (police) don't blame the court then. We will pronounce the order tomorrow," a bench, also comprising Justice VK Jain, said.
On being told that there are 67 PCR vans deployed in South district, the bench said "we are not concerned about those 67 PCR vans and we are concerned about the three PCR vans and the police officials.. where is the report on this?" Dayan Krishnan, the counsel for police, said there were two PCR vans close to the site and it cannot be said that the bus, in which offence took place, pass through them.
"Earlier, it was said that there were three PCR vans, now you are saying there were two PCR vans," the bench said, adding that as the chargesheet has been filed, it would not monitor the case. The court had taken suo motu cognisance of the gang-rape and had pulled up the police asking as to how the offence remained undetected.
At the start of the hearing, police filed a status report in a sealed cover and the bench, after perusing it, expressed its anguish over not finding the names of the cops. "Till today, you are not giving the names. What is the difficulty? You cannot hold back the names like this. We are not happy. Earlier also, we had expressed our unhappiness, even then you are not giving the names. What actions have you taken so far?," the bench said.
The counsel for police submitted an ACP (PCR) has been suspended. However, the submission failed to satisfy the bench which said it would pass an order on Thursday. "We wanted a fair, speedy and high standard probe in the case. The chargesheet has been filed, we cannot monitor further. It is not in the interest of the case and the trial," the bench said.
Justice Jain wanted to know how the bus with tinted glass and curtains was allowed to ply on Delhi roads and what actions have been taken. The counsel for police said action against has also been taken against an ACP (traffic). "Why are you taking action against the ACP and why not Joint Commissioner (Traffic)... do you want to say that the bus was plying in south Delhi only"? Justice Jain remarked.
The paramedical student was raped and brutally assaulted before being thrown out of the moving vehicle along with her male friend. She later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.
With Additional Inputs from PTI