Thane police commissioner seeking a probe into the matter, but appropriate steps were not taken.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Monday directed ACP Padmaja Chavan, a woman police officer from Thane city, to record the statement of a 15-year-old girl who alleged that Thane municipal commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal harassed her last year. The court also said that the ACP should follow the provisions of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act while recording the statement.
A division bench of justice R.M. Savant and justice Sarang Kotwal was hearing a petition filed by activist Vikrant Karnik, seeking registration of a FIR against Mr Jaiswal under the POCSO Act. Mr Karnik also sought that an investigation be conducted by a lady police officer of Thane police who was not below the rank of additional commissioner of police. The petition alleged that the commissioner called the minor girl to his home at night and asked her to massage him. When she refused to do so, her hut was demolished by the anti-encroachment department of Thane. Mr Karnik showed a video clip with the victim narrating the incident. He claimed that he had filed a police complaint and written to the Thane police commissioner seeking a probe into the matter, but appropriate steps were not taken.
During hearing on Monday, the state submitted that soon after the alleged video surfaced, the girl and her family left Thane for Surat, Gujarat, and hence, her statement could not be recorded. The state also raised doubts about the veracity of the girl’s allegations. The court said, “We hope and trust that the alleged victim’s statement is recorded in the presence of a woman officer.”