'Amanat' case: no police officer should escape accountability, says court

'Amanat' case: no police officer should escape accountability, says court
New Delhi The Delhi Police apologised unconditionally to the Delhi High Court today for submitting an inadequate report on the status of its investigations into the brutal gang-rape of a student on a moving bus last month. The six men who allegedly assaulted her sexually also beat her male friend and her with an iron rod before throwing the naked couple onto the road.

Yesterday, the court asked why the police appears determined to protect officers responsible for the many lapses that facilitated the attack on the student on a bus that had tinted windows, which is illegal, but managed to clear several police check points. The judges asked yesterday why the most senior officer, Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, should not be held accountable for the failure of the police in protecting the student.

Once again, the judges said today, "We want to know the names of officers (involved) so that we know whether the government is taking action against those who erred. We want to know the name of the officers because no one should escape accountability."

The court also said that the city needs more than the 600 police vans that patrol the city. It said vehicles on the road must be checked carefully for buses or cars with tinted windows, which is not permissible in Delhi. The court also said that the functions to be performed by police vans must be carefully reviewed. The student's friend had said that when the couple was lying injured on the road, officers who arrived in patrol vans wasted time arguing about jurisdiction and which hospital the couple should be moved to.

The crime has incensed and shamed India, prompting an urgent review of laws to punish sexual offenders, and multiple inquiries into how to improve policing in Delhi.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is among those who has suggested that Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar must accept responsibility and resign, but he has refused to quit. The Delhi Police reports not to the chief minister, but the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, and is supervised by the Union Home Ministry.

The government has set up a committee headed by retired High Court judge Usha Mehra to fix accountability for the attack on Amanat (NOT her real name). Separately, the ministry has ordered an inquiry into allegations by Amanat's friend that when the couple was lying injured on the road, police officers who showed up wasted time arguing about jurisdiction and which hospital the couple should be moved to.

Story First Published: January 10, 2013 11:04 IST

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