Published on: 05 September 2023 at 15:45 IST
The Allahabad High Court convened a special hearing on Sunday evening to take suo motu cognizance of a recent attack on a female police officer in Uttar Pradesh, who was discovered injured on a train.
Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava presided over the bench that initiated the matter after Chief Justice Diwaker received a WhatsApp message. The hearing took place at Chief Justice Diwaker’s residence at 8:00 PM on Sunday.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the Court decided to register the incident as a public interest litigation (criminal) and issued notices to several parties, including the Union Ministry of Railways, the Director General of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), the State of Uttar Pradesh, and the State Commission for Women, Uttar Pradesh.
The court ordered that the case diary be presented during the hearing, and the investigating officer was required to be present in court. According to reports from the Times of India, a passenger on the Saryu Express train, originating from Ayodhya junction, alerted railway police to the injured woman police officer, who was found beneath the lower berth in the general coach. She is reported to be in stable condition now.
Advocate Ram Kaushik, representing the victim, submitted a letter petition to the court, stating that the incident occurred during the night between August 30 and August 31. Referring to media reports, Kaushik described the officer’s condition when she was discovered, noting that she was lying in a pool of blood, unable to move independently, with a severe facial injury and other injuries.
Kaushik pointed out that based on the victim’s brother’s written complaint, a first information report (FIR) had been filed under Sections 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty), 353 (Assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty), and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He argued that considering the severity of the officer’s physical condition, Sections 376/376D (rape) of the IPC should have been included in the FIR.
Furthermore, it was contended that railway authorities had failed to implement measures to ensure the safety of women.