The Titwala police have landed in trouble with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), after they failed to inform the panel about the rape of a minor girl.
mid-day’s May 8 report
This newspaper had reported on May 8 that a 33-year-old garage mechanic had raped his 14-year-old stepdaughter repeatedly over several months. After getting her pregnant, he took her to the KEM Hospital in Parel for an abortion. He told cops present at the facility that an auto rickshaw driver had raped her.
His crime was discovered when the matter was referred to the local police, who then transferred it to the Titwala police. A rape case was registered on April 27, and investigations revealed he had been raping her for quite some time. The girl, at the time of abortion, was four months into her pregnancy.
According to the CWC members, neither the Titwala police nor the doctors at KEM bothered to inform them about the abortion, till they read about it in the newspaper. CWC member Vidya Atpate said, “We were kept in dark. The Titwala police have been concealing the facts.
More than a week has passed and the Child Welfare Committee has not been informed of the case details. In such cases pertaining to minors, the police are bound to report to us within 24 hours of the case. No such effort was made here.”
As per the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, it is mandatory for police officials to inform the CWC about such cases within 24 hours of the case. Atpate added, “The investigating officer of the case has still not appeared before the committee.
The officer claimed he is currently out of town to attend a wedding. This kind of negligence is unacceptable; we will demand stringent action in this matter against the errant cops and the doctors.”
According to the CWC, even the doctors can be grilled for the abortion, since it was performed in the fourth month of pregnancy. It is mandatory for cops and doctors to take court’s permission to abort a minor’s child, if she’s been pregnant for over 3 months.
The other side
When contacted, the Titwala police seemed to be unaware of the law that pertains to informing the CWC about such cases. An officer from Titwala police station said, “The victim’s parents misled us in the case.
When the girl was brought to the hospital, the parents alleged that an unknown auto driver raped their daughter. Based on their complaint, the FIR was registered. The abortion was done since the parents and the girl had given a go-ahead for it.”
Dr Shubhangi Parkar, dean of KEM Hospital, said, “I’m unaware of the details of the case. However, it is highly unlikely that a minor girl was brought in for abortion and my gynaecology department didn’t inform me about it.”