Mumbai: Eminent lawyer Abha Singh on Tuesday filed a complaint before Maharashtra State Commission for Women, alleging human rights violation in the arrest of two girls who wrote comments on Facebook in regard to shutdown in the city for the funeral of Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray.

Describing the arrest of Shaheen Dhada and Renu Shrinivas as gross violation of human rights, Singh, the wife of IPS officer-turned-lawyer Y P Singh, demanded that the State Women's Commission should visit the concerned police station, inspect the case diaries and inquire into the matter.

"The manner in which the girls were arrested clearly indicates that there has been gross violation of human rights as well as Supreme Court directives for affecting arrests," said Singh who lodged complaint with the Women's Commission in suburban Bandra.

Normally, in serious cases such as dacoity, murder, robbery and rape, an accused can be arrested if he is likely to abscond or evade the process of law or if he indulges in violent behaviour or is a habitual offender. "But none of these conditions are applicable to this case," she said.

According to Singh, the girls had not committed any offence at all and it appears that the police had acted under the pressure of local politicians.

"The liberty of the two girls was seriously breached just because they were invoking their fundamental rights guaranteed by article 19 of the Constitution," she said. Singh alleged that the two girls were brought to the local police station at Palghar before sunrise without showing their arrests.

In keeping with section 46(4) of CrPc, a female accused can be arrested only after sunrise and not before. In this case, the rule was violated and they should not have been brought to the police station in the night, the lawyer said.

Singh further alleged that the girls were first booked under section 195 IPC (giving or procuring false evidence with intent to secure a conviction of an offence) and later this section was changed to 505 (2) IPC (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes).

Singh also demanded dismissal of the police officers involved in registering this case. She further said that she had lodged a complaint with the Women's Commission despite police ordering a probe as she was afraid that investigations would not be transparent and would never conclude.

Singh said if the State Commission for Women did not respond to her complaint then she would move an appropriate court seeking judicial intervention to get justice for the two girls.


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