Saryu Express incident: Allahabad HC directs magistrate to record injured woman constable’s statement in hospital

The Allahabad High Court has directed that a magistrate should visit the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow to record the statement of a woman constable who was attacked in a train last month.

The court also directed that the victim be examined by a team of five doctors comprising three senior gynaecologists, a surgeon and a doctor of medicine of the KGMU and a report be submitted by the next date of hearing on Wednesday.

“The constitution of the team of doctors shall be done by the dean of the KGMU, Lucknow,” a division bench comprising Chief Justice Pritinker Diwakar and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava said on Monday.

The woman constable, who is admitted in the Trauma Centre of the KGMU, was found in a “pool of blood” with injuries on her face inside a compartment of Saryu Express on August 30.

Hearing a PIL in the case on Monday, the bench said, “After hearing about the progress of the investigations so far from the superintendent of police, GRP, and railway, at this stage we have no doubt that the investigation is proceeding in the right track and would bring results fast.”

“However, we find that the statement of the victim under Section 161 or 164 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has not been recorded so far. In our opinion, it is a vital piece of evidence which will throw some light and carve out the path on which the investigation can proceed henceforth. We feel that the statement has not been recorded as the victim is not in a position to present herself before the magistrate concerned,” the court said.

The court also directed the railway authorities to provide all necessary assistance, including motorized inspection trolleys, to the investigation team to carry out combing operations along the railway tracks to locate the weapon and other evidence.

On September 3, Chief Justice Diwakar, in a sitting at his residence, had taken suo motu cognizance of the brutal assault on the police constable and ordered notices to be served to the Centre and the Railway Protection Force (RPF).

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On the next day (September 4), the two-judge bench pulled up the Railway Protection Force (RPF) for “failing in discharge of its duties” and directed the Government Railway Police (GRP) to produce a progress report on its inquiry in the case before the court on September 13.

During the hearing on September 4, Puja Yadav, Superintendent of Police (GRP), Lucknow, told the court that the victim’s statement under Section 164 of CrPC could not be recorded as she was not in a position to give a statement.

The GRP SP had said that no sign of rape of the woman constable of the Uttar Pradesh Police posted in Sultanpur had been found till now.

Based on a written complaint by the brother of the constable, an FIR under sections 332 (voluntarily causing harm in order to deter a public servant from doing his/her duties), 353 (assault or criminal force done to deter a public servant from discharge of duty) and 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC was lodged on August 30.

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