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HC asks Gujarat govt to look into police ‘inaction’ over rape allegation against pharma co CMD – Times of India


AHMEDABAD: Quashing a magisterial court order that rejected a Bulgarian woman’s application for an FIR into her rape charges against a pharmaceutical company CMD, the Gujarat High Court noted on Friday the “surprising and disturbing fact” that the magistrate took cognizance of the complaint but asked her to produce evidence.
Justice HD Suthar directed the magistrate to order an investigation under Section 156(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).The judge observed irregularities in the magisterial court’s process, including the court’s rejection of her complaint — by shifting the burden of proof on to her instead of asking police to investigate — despite the woman making allegations that were cognizable.
“Though the magistrate was duty-bound to conduct the inquiry independently considering the nature of the allegations, he did not follow the proper course of law,” the HC said.
Similarly, police officials — a deputy commissioner of police and police inspectors RB Solanki and JB Agrawat — have been called out by the high court for their inaction. The woman has accused an official of the Mahila police station and the inspectors of the Sola police station of inaction. The Bulgarian woman had joined the pharmaceutical company as a flight attendant in November 2022 and was later made to work as a butler/personal assistant to the company’s CMD. She accused the CMD of sexual harassment and rape in February 2023. She said that she was fired after she registered the complaint. She sent her complaint to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office and the city police commissioner, who forwarded it to Mahila police station (West) on April 9.
When police allegedly did not act, she moved the magisterial court. She finally filed a petition in the HC seeking an FIR for rape, sexual harassment and criminal intimidation against the CMD and another person who had recruited her. She demanded charges against the police officials for their inaction.
The woman’s advocate, Rajeshkumar Mishra, submitted that the police not only suppressed her complaint that contained cognizable charges, but also coerced her into signing a settlement affidavit.
The state government defended the police officials and termed the woman’s petition before the HC “a proxy litigation at the behest of disgruntled elements”. It was alleged that the woman was giving criminal colour to a private dispute between employer and employee, but the judge was not convinced.
The HC further observed that the lower court failed to institute an inquiry. The HC asked the state government to look into the alleged inaction by police officials and permitted the complainant to take appropriate action against them.


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