Woman alleged the accused sought to demolish site of crime

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Mumbai Crime Branch to file an FIR within 24 hours after a woman filed a petition claiming that she was gang-raped by the senior inspector of Powai police station and two goons, and that renowned industrialist Niranjan Hiranandani was involved in destroying the evidence of the crime.

“Since the allegations made by the petitioner are of very serious nature, an independent agency, such as Crime Branch should promptly record the statement of the seven witnesses within 24 hours and also give police protection to the petitioner free of costs till the next date,” an order passed by the division bench of Justices V.M Kanade and P.D Kode stated.

The court transferred the probe from Powai police station to Mumbai Crime Branch, and directed the Crime Branch to record the statements of the witnesses within 24 hours. The court also ordered it to seize the CCTV footage of the alleged threat to the rape survivor’s husband at Mr. Hiranandani’s office. The survivor has been given free police protection till the next hearing.

The Crime Branch has also been directed to submit an investigation report in a sealed envelope to the court within a week.

The rape survivor has claimed that Mr Hiranandani has been trying to forcibly evacuate them from the land in question at Jai Bhim Nagar. “Mr Hiranandani along with his hirelings with a view to dispossess and throw away the poor and illiterate occupants of the said area are adopting all the pressure tactics and creating terror with the money and muscle power,” the petition has claimed.

The survivor has alleged that she was raped by the senior police inspector of Powai police station and two goons at a community temple on June 14 morning. She has claimed that she was called to the community temple by Y L Jadhav, senior police inspector of Powai police station, and that he was in an inebriated condition when she reached there.

After being gang-raped, she went to the police station where they refused to register her complaint or send her for medical examination despite repeated requests, she has alleged.

Moreover, Mr Hiranandani and others tried to demolish the temple itself to destroy the evidence of gang-rape, she claimed. “The same day evening (June 14), Mr Hiranandani, Prakash Wadkar and Sanjay Sansare tried their best to brush the offence. The Budhh Vihar was destroyed by using JCB machine and even the Lord Budhha’s statue was taken away by them. The garbage was also taken away which was reported to be sold to some scrap dealer,” the petition has stated.

The court has ordered that this scrap be seized from the scrap dealer as crucial evidence.

“The respondents no. 4 to 7 (Mr Jadhav, Mr Hiranandani, Prakash Wadkar, Sanjay Sansare) not only rape(d) the petitioner, but also many other women are injured due to the assault at the hands of the gang headed by Mr Sansare,” the petition has claimed.

The court will hear the matter next on July 2.