Why Delhi Police commissioner not suspended: Asks court

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up the police and asked the reason for not suspending the commissioner of police (CP) and deputy commissioner of police (DCP) in connection with the Dec 16 gang-rape case.

The court's remarks came after counsel appearing for the police submitted a status report of the case where it failed to provide names of officials deployed in police control room (PCR) vans during the incident and told the court that the assistant commissioner of police (ACP) of the area concerned had been suspended.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain said: "We directed you (police) to give the names of officials posted on the three PCR vans in the areas. Today also we are not convinced, because names of officers responsible have not come in."

After police counsel Dayan Krishnan said the ACP of the PCR command had been suspended, the court said: "Is he (ACP) only responsible? Why not DCP and CP suspended?"

A 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus with tinted glasses and curtains in the city and later died at a Singapore hospital.

The court also pulled up Delhi Police for not following the Supreme Court's order on removing tinted glasses from vehicles.

When the court was told that the ACP of the traffic wing was also suspended, the court said: "Why joint commissioner of traffic not suspended?"

"Who are the officials responsible for these lapses? Why were dark glasses and curtains not removed after the Supreme Court order? Why no further action was taken," said Justice Jain.

The court would pass its order in the matter Thursday.

The police filed the report in a sealed cover to the bench, and informed it that the chargesheet was filed Jan 3.

To this, the court said when the chargesheet had been filed and the case stated, it did not want to monitor the case.

"We did not want to monitor the whole case but we wanted proper standard investigation to be done in the police. Now the chargesheet has been filed, we do not want to monitor the matter further," said bench.

However, during the hearing, the court questioned police why it was not giving names of the officials in the three PCR vans despite repeated orders.

"Do not try to save the official. Till today, you (police) are not giving the names; you are not following the court's order. Now, we do not want names thereafter and will pass order tomorrow," said the court refusing to give a day's time to police to provide the names.

"When the last time we passed the order, you did not give the names. We expressed our unhappiness that you did not give names and gave you more time. But still, you did not mention the names," court said.

The police also faced the wrath of the judges after counsel said there were only two PCR vans.

"There were three PCR vans. Why are you saying two. You are reducing one," said the court.

Meanwhile, a group of women advocates urged the court for an open trial in the gang-rape case.

"We as advocates and women are not allowed to see the proceeding. Trial should be open so that it will be transparent," said Monica Arora, representing the women lawyers.

To this, the bench said it would not pass any order in this regard and let the trial court decide the matter.

However, it said an application could be filed for the same.

Advocate Meenakshi Lekhi told the bench that journalists should also be allowed to witness the proceedings.

The court said the trial court had passed an order for in-camera proceedings and it could not do anything in the case.