Delhi Police ordered to apologise, compensate rape accused


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the Delhi Police to apologise, in writing, to an alleged rape accused and his family members for falsely implicating them. The court also ordered them to pay compensation for the ongoing harassment for the past 15 years.

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Justice S.Muralidhar, while giving relief to Prempal – arrested on charges of rape but acquitted in 2004 – said: “The court expresses its disapproval of senior police officials for filing the affidavits using impermissible language to criticise the final and binding judgment of the trial court judge. The court cautions each of them not to repeat this in future.”

“The commissioner of police is directed to take note of this and send, within a period of two weeks, a written apology to Prempal and each of his family members on behalf of the Delhi Police for the suffering they have had to undergo at the hands of the police,” the court said while asking police to pay a compensation of over Rs.5 lakh.

“If confidence has to be restored among the citizenry that police is meant to protect their rights, then such expression of contrition by those at the helm is an imperative,” the court said.

According to Prempal, false charges were slapped against him for an offence for which it would have been next to impossible to obtain bail and even more difficult to avoid trial.

“It was fortunate that Prempal was able to establish his innocence in this case and justice prevailed. However, by this time Prempal was obviously a man broken in spirit and in health. The illegal actions of police have not only taken away precious years of Prempal’s life, which can never be retrieved, but have caused irreparable damage to his reputation,” the court said.

The court expressed its displeasure at the language two senior police officials used in the affidavit they filed, criticising the trial court judge for passing strictures against police.

“Given the long history of the litigation that Prempal had to suffer due to the high-handedness of the police, the observations of the trial court are fully justified,” the court said.

It pulled up police for not implementing the trial court order to give exemplary punishment to all those police officials involved in framing Prempal and to compensate Prempal for wrongful imprisonment and his harassment.

“When the illegal actions of some of the personnel of police, resulting in the violation of the right to life of a citizen, are brought out so clearly by a senior judicial officer on the basis of evidence, the least that is expected of the police is that it would study the implications of the judgment, and if the judgment is not sought to be appealed against, it would implement the directions, if any, given therein,” the court said.