The Karnataka High Court bench comprising Single-judge Justice M Nagaprasanna in the case of Vikram Vincent vs State of Karnataka chastised the State Police for its shoddy investigation into a complaint filed by a wife accusing her husband of forcing her to have unnatural sex with him.
The court was hearing a plea filed by a woman seeking directions to the police authorities to conduct further investigations into her 2017 complaint alleging that her husband forced her to have unnatural sex and, upon her refusal, tortured, harassed, and even physically assaulted her.
According to the complaint, her husband took some obscene photos of her and even shot some video clips, which he later circulated to her father and some friends on social media platforms WhatsApp and Facebook.
However, in its chargesheet filed on September 26, 2019, the Bangalore City Police did not invoke either section 377 (unnatural sex) of the Indian Penal Code or the relevant provisions of the Information and Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
Instead, the chargesheet only established a case of domestic violence, i.e. a 498 A case against the husband, revealing how shoddy the investigation had been.
The crime was no doubt registered for all the offences, but the shady probe conducted by the jurisdictional police (Bangalore City Police) has led to filing of a charge sheet only for an offence under Section 498A of the IPC. Therefore, this becomes a classic case where the investigation has been so shoddy that a further investigation in to the matter is needed,” The court Stated
The judge went on to say that it is past time for the Director General of Police (DGP) to take stock of such shoddy investigations and deal harshly with the investigating officers.
“In view of the preceding analysis, it also becomes a case where the head of the department, either the State or the Commissioner of Police should take stock of such shoddy investigations by investigating officers, who either lack competence or deliberately indulge in such investigations. It is high time the head of the Department sets its house in order, by appropriately dealing with such investigating officers on the departmental side,” The Court ordered
The Court ordered that the current case be investigated further and turned over to another officer.
The woman and her husband, both from Bangalore, became friends while pursuing their PhDs at IIT-Bombay in 2013, and the couple later married in 2015. She claimed that soon after the marriage, the husband began pressuring her for unnatural sex and that if she refused, he would frequently assault her.
She later left the matrimonial house and went to her parents’ house in Raipur; however, the husband persuaded her and brought her back, but his behaviour remained unchanged. He allegedly forced her to have sexual relationships with other men or even group sex.
Finally, she left his home on January 4, 2016, less than six months after their marriage, and has been living separately ever since. But the husband persisted in convincing her to return to his home, and when she refused, he sent some obscene photos and videos to her family and friends.
Taking note of the allegations, the Court stated that if the provisions of the law, the victim’s complaint, and her statements recorded by the police are read together, it would prima facie establish a case under section 377 of the IPC.
As a result, the judge ordered a new investigation into the husband and the filing of a supplementary chargesheet before the trial court within two months. He also denied the husband’s petition to have the criminal proceedings against him dismissed.
Advocate Prathima S K represented the husband, while Advocate S Guru Prasanna represented the wife. K P Yashodha, a government prosecutor, represented the State.