Delhi High Court orders FIR against BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain in rape case

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain has been accused of rape by a Delhi-based woman. File

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain has been accused of rape by a Delhi-based woman. File | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

The Delhi High Court has ordered the registration of an FIR against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain on a woman’s complaint of rape at a farmhouse in south Delhi’s Chhatarpur area in April 2018.

Justice Asha Menon also questioned the Delhi police for showing “complete reluctance” to even register an FIR and put the investigation machinery into operation. The judge, in her August 17 judgment, ordered the police to complete its investigation and submit a detailed report before the concerned trial court within three months.

The high court’s direction came while dismissing an appeal filed by Mr. Hussain against the July 7, 2018, order passed by a trial court in New Delhi directing the registration of an FIR on the complaint filed by the woman.

The woman had, on June 21, 2018, filed her complaint case alleging rape by Mr. Hussain, following which the trial court had called for an Action Taken Report (ATR). The Delhi police, in its report, however, concluded that as per the inquiry, the allegations raised by the woman were not found to be substantiated.

Mr. Hussain’s counsel argued that when a detailed ATR had been submitted, the trial court had to consider the same while directing the registration of an FIR, but in the instant case there was not a single reference to the detailed ATR.

Mr. Hussain’s counsel submitted that the investigation by the police “completely falsified the case of the complainant that she and the petitioner (Mr. Hussain) were together at Chattarpur Farms where she had been drugged and raped by the petitioner”.

On the other hand, the woman submitted that there was pressure on her to withdraw her complaints, but she was not amenable to such pressures. When no action was taken by the police, the woman said, she was compelled to file an application before the trial court.

Justice Menon, in the 14-page-judgment, referred to the police’s status report filed before her, which revealed that even after the complaint had been received at the police station from the Commissioner’s office, no investigation was carried out till the directions were issued by the trial court.

“The recording of the statement of the prosecutrix (woman) on four occasions is referred to in the Status Report filed before this Court, but there is no explanation as to why the FIR was not lodged,” the judge noted.

“The FIR only puts the machinery into operation. It is a foundation for the investigation of the offence complained of. It is only after investigations that the police can conclude whether or not an offence had been committed and if so by whom,” the high court said.

“In the present case, there seems to be a complete reluctance on the part of the police to even register an FIR. In the absence of the FIR, at best, the police could have, as correctly observed by the learned Special Judge, conducted only what is a preliminary inquiry,” the high court said adding that there was “no perversity” in the orders of the trial court directing the registration of the FIR.

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Printable version | Aug 18, 2022 9:31:24 pm |