In the case of, Jaswant Kaur v State Of Punjab And Others on 17 April 2020, the petitioner, Jaswant Kaur, has approached this Court seeking issuance of a direction to respondents No. 2 and 3 to consider her representation and protect the lives and liberty of the petitioner and her daughter as she apprehends threat to the same at the hands of the accused named in FIR under Sections 365, 376-D, 120-B IPC and Section 6 of POCSO Act, Police Station Sadar Tarn Taran, District Tarn Taran.
- Although a period of about 4 months has elapsed till date the accused has not been arrested.
- The accused is, in fact, a resident in the same village where the petitioner and her daughter reside.
- The accused is, in fact, close to the ‘Sarpanch’ of the village and on this account, the police are not arresting the said accused, who in turn are threatening the petitioner and her daughter to withdraw the case lodged against them.
- The counsel further submitted that, although swabs were taken from the body of the prosecutrix immediately after lodging of FIR till date the same has not been sent for chemical examination and that such delay could affect the result of the chemical examination.
- The police shall do the needful in accordance with the law and that some delay in doing the needful occurred on account of the prevalent conditions where the police are mainly deployed for ensuring that all the citizens of India stay at home to avoid contracting COVID-19.
- That the swabs could not be sent for chemical examination due to lack of signatures of the prosecutrix and that the swabs are presently lying in the hospital.
- The allegations mentioned in the FIR are serious and the accused ought to be arrested at the earliest. However, at the same time, judicial notice can be taken of the prevalent conditions of the spread of the pandemic, where all the official machinery including the police is deployed for containing the spread of the virus. In such circumstances, some delay in doing the needful can be well explained.
- It is directed that the police shall do the needful in accordance with the law as far as the arrest of the accused and the investigation of the case is concerned while prioritizing the duties assigned pertaining to the containment of the spread of COVID-19.
- As far as the allegations pertaining to the alleged threats to the petitioner and her daughter are concerned, Senior Superintendent of Police, Tarn Taran, the respondent No.4 shall have the same examined and in case it is found that the accused has been threatening the petitioner or her daughter, the needful shall be done at the earliest.
- Regarding the swabs which are stated to be lying in the hospital and have not been sent for chemical examination on account of lack of signatures of the prosecutrix, the police are directed to get the signatures of the prosecutrix on the forwarding letter/requisite forms by deputing some lady police official, who shall visit the residence of the petitioner for obtaining such signatures and the prosecutrix is not asked to come to the police station or hospital for the said purpose. The needful regarding sending of samples for chemical examination be done at the earliest, in case it cannot be preserved for long.
The petition stands disposed of with the aforesaid directions and a copy of the order be sent to respondent No.4-Senior Superintendent of Police, Tarn Taran, to enable him to do the needful.
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