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Orders to IPS Led SIT To Probe Into Alleged Dowry Death Of 25-Yrs-Old Rasika Jain: In Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court ordered the formation of a special investigating team (SIT) to look into the case of Rasika Jain, 25, died in February 2021 after falling from the third-floor terrace of her in law’s home. Her family members had then accused someone of foul play.

They filed a petition with the High Court, pleading for the court’s intervention, alleging that the police were not properly investigating the case.

The State police investigation into the case of Mahendra Kumar Jain v. The State of West Bengal & Ors (W.P.A. No. 17293 of 2021) has been, in the opinion of Honourable Justice Shampa Sarkar is “slow and directionless.”

Facts of the Case:

The father of the deceased victim, who had wed Kushal Agarwal on February 9, 2020, had filed the current motion. It was claimed that the deceased had met her parents on a few occasions and informed them of the alleged debauchery and physical and mental abuse her husband had allegedly inflicted on her.

The petitioner then received a call from the deceased’s mother-in-law on February 16, 2021, informing him that his daughter had fallen from the terrace of her marital home and was being treated at Woodlands Hospital. The victim passed away from her injuries that day. The petitioner received a WhatsApp message.

It had been argued during the proceedings that the investigating agency had failed and neglected to conduct the investigation with the discretion, seriousness, promptness, and sensitivity that this case deserved. Furthermore, it was claimed that the investigating Sub-Inspector is under a lot of pressure and that no report has yet been received from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Bhopal.

The court emphasized further, “This Court believes that the investigation should have been carried out more quickly and methodically in light of the seriousness of the allegations, the parties’ social standing, and the unfortunate circumstances that led to the young woman’s death, particularly in light of the delay that has occurred during the interregnum period. It has moved fairly slowly and aimlessly. The offenses involve crimes against women and dowry deaths. The social impact is enormous.”

The Court further alleged that a Special Investigating Team made up of senior and knowledgeable police officers should be formed due to the seriousness of the offenses.

The Court instructed Damayanti Sen, special commissioner of police for Kolkata, to form the SIT and launch the investigation within seven days “The Special Commissioner of Police (II), Kolkata Police, Smt. Damayanti Sen, is given the go-ahead by the court to assemble her own team of qualified officers to conduct the investigation. A team of at least five officers must be assembled.”

The Court stated that the SIT was given the go-ahead to quickly and effectively investigate the case “The team should be formed within a week of the date this order was communicated, and steps should be taken right away to start the investigation with the independence and efficiency that are needed. Without much progress, one and a half years have already passed.”

As a result, the Court instructed the SIT to submit its status report summarizing the evolution and advancement of the case on the next scheduled hearing date, which is set for August 12.

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Judgement Reviewed By Manju Molakalapalli.

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