2017 ‘assault’ on lawyer, sister: Human rights panel orders top cop to register FIR

Tabassum Barnagarwala
mumbai news, mumbai city news, 2017 lawyer assault case, maharashtra news, indian express news

The commission’s order was released on January 7. (Representational Image)

The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) directed the Mumbai Police commissioner to register an FIR and initiate disciplinary action against two woman constables of Malabar Hill police station, three years after they allegedly beat up and humiliated a lawyer and her sister in public.

The commission also directed the police to provide compensation of Rs 50,000 to the two sisters. On December 30, 2019, the commission in its order observed that the case was “alarming and shocking” as the “concerned police station is located in one of the cream areas of Mumbai” and did not have functional CCTV cameras in its premises.

The commission’s order was released on January 7, asking the police commissioner to “modulate and develop in-house guidelines for a proper work culture, training and orientation of the police force consistent with basic human values... made sensitive to the constitutional ethos”.

In February 2017, woman constables, Shilpa Mahadev Vinchu and Aradheya Parab, attached with Malabar Hill police station then, had allegedly beaten up and publicly humiliated advocate Shweta Doshi and her sister Tejal.

The incident took place after Tejal had a heated argument with the staff of a local salon over a payment issue. She claimed that she was asked to pay Rs 2,000 for threading her eyebrows, adding that the parlour staff was trying to extort money from her. Following this, she called the local police station for help.

“When I reached the parlour, I found my sister in torn clothes and she had been beaten up by two woman constables,” Doshi said in her complaint to the human rights commission.

The woman constables allegedly dragged the women on to the road, beat them up and took them to the police station, where they were detained from 1 pm to 9.30 pm.

Doshi said, “It was clear that the constables and the parlour staff were hand-in-glove.”

A medical report from Nair hospital stated that the sisters sustained multiple wounds. They had bruises on the limbs, an injured eye and multiple wounds on the back. “I was confined to my bed for six months; I could hardly walk,” Doshi added.

She submitted a complaint at the police station, but a subsequent report stated that there was no evidence to support her complaint.

The sisters said apart from being beaten up, the constables tore their clothes in full view of the public and that it amounted to humiliation.

During the hearing, the human rights commission found that police had neither made an entry in the register over the alleged assault by the constables, nor taken cognisance of Nair hospital’s medical report.

Former senior inspector at Malabar Hill, Vinod Kamble, said he remembered the case but it took place before he joined. Senior Inspector Nikanth Patil of Malabar Hill police station said, “We are yet to receive the copy of the order. Till then, I am not authorised to comment.”