Sajjan Jindal Rape Case: BKC Police's Delay In Filing FIR Under Scrutiny For Possible Violations Of Standard Operating Procedure & DGP's Circular

Sajjan Jindal Rape Case: BKC Police's Delay In Filing FIR Under Scrutiny For Possible Violations Of Standard Operating Procedure & DGP's Circular

The Section 18 of the SOP requires the police "to arrest the suspect of the crime promptly". Yet the BKC police have not done anything to arrest the suspect.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Wednesday, December 20, 2023, 04:28 PM IST
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Sajjan Jindal |

Even though it has been a week since a woman registered an FIR against steel magnate Sajjan Jindal on allegations of rape, the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) police have not made any effort to arrest him. This is in gross violation of the 14-page Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) laid down by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) for the investigation and prosecution in rape cases.

The Section 18 of the SOP requires the police "to arrest the suspect of the crime promptly". Yet the BKC police have not done anything to arrest the suspect. The police are maintaining a studied silence over the issue.

Official's 'no comments' stance

When contacted on Tuesday evening by the Free Press Journal (the FPJ), Gedam Dixit, the deputy commissioner of Zone VIII, in whose jurisdiction BKC police station is located curtly replied, "No comments."

The victim had a tough time getting the police to register the FIR against Jindal, the 64-year-old chairman and managing director of JSW Group. She was made to run from one police station to another. It was only after she approached the Bombay High Court through lawyer Rizwan Merchant did the BKC police agree to register her FIR.

The division bench of Justice NR Borkar and Justice PD Naik took a tough stand following which the senior inspector RH Kadam of BKC police station had no choice but to register the FIR.

Failure to register FIR violates SOP

The failure to promptly register her FIR was also in violation of SOP of the BPR&D while in Section 1 has clearly stated that FIR in rape cases "must be recorded in accordance with the provisions of Sectin 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure immediately."

More recently, the director-general of police, Maharashtra, had also issued a circular to officials of all police stations to register FIR of rape immediately. The BKC police have clearly violated both the SOP and the DGP's circular.

Will move high court again if police does not act per law: Merchant

Merchant told FPJ that the police were currently trying to download the large number of 2-year-old WhatsApp chats between Jindal and the victim. "But, if they do not act as per law, we will move the high court again," he added. The victim did not respond to calls and messages from the FPJ.

The FIR against Jindal was filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 376 (punishment for rape), 354 (outraging modesty of a woman) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation). Jindal has promised to cooperate fully with the police in their investigation.

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