The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tuesday said it has issued notices to the Haryana government and the state’s police chief over reports of a woman being allegedly raped by a crime branch inspector in Palwal in lieu of helping her jailed husband.
In its statement, the NHRC said the contents of the media report, if true, amount to human rights violations of the victim by a public servant.
The NHRC has taken ”suo motu cognisance of a media report that in Palwal, Haryana, a crime branch inspector raped a woman in lieu of helping her jailed husband,” it said.
Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the chief secretary and the director general of police of Haryana, seeking reports within six weeks. The chief secretary is expected to inform, the statement said, if suitable directions have been issued to ensure the guidelines formulated in the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and rules framed thereunder by creating an Internal Complaint Committee in public offices including the police forces/ The report must also contain details for the last one year regarding such complaints about sexual harassment of women at workplace including third-party harassment by the public servant, it added.
”The director general of police has to submit a report including the action taken report regarding reasons for failure of the institutional mechanism within the Haryana Police for not adhering to the guidelines formulated in Viaskhas’s case as well as inability to initiate enquiry under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013,” the statement said.
The report must also contain the up-to-date status of the criminal case registered against the accused inspector by specifying the provisions invoked under various penal laws and as to whether the arrest is made, if not, what measures have been taken to nab the culprit, the rights panel said. In addition to this, it should state whether any compensation has been awarded to the victim woman for such a ”heinous crime” at the instance of a public servant. The report is also expected to specify the mechanism initiated by the Haryana Police to ”deter the police personnel from perpetrating such types of horrendous crime,” it added.
The Commission has also asked the Member-Secretary, State Legal Services Authority, Haryana to send a report within eight weeks after examining the case of prolong incarceration of the husband of the victim woman in Neemka jail.
It also asked to ensure the undertrial prisoner be provided with free legal aid counsel before the jurisdictional court so that he may be represented adequately in the case, if not already released on bail. According to the media report, the woman is a resident of Palwal. In the month of May 2020, a case was registered against her husband for attacking some persons over certain dispute. Her husband has been lodged in Neemka jail, the statement said.
”It is also reported that during that period, the victim woman came in contact with the inspector, who promised her to help her husband in getting him out of jail. It is also reported that the inspector took Rs 4 lakh, and later on Rs 1 lakh more before sexually assaulting her,” it said.