Ranjit Mahanti :
KUSUM Harsora, 60-year-old woman has filed writ petition against six officers of Gamdevi police station alleging that they registered a false FIR against her for molestation of her minor niece and arrested her. She has demanded Rs 10 crores as compensation from the police department for illegal arrest, abuse and causing severe physical and emotional trauma. Noted Lawyer, Abha Singh is handling her case in the Bombay High Court.
Kusum, an architect and commercial pilot by profession is a resident of 41, Summerville, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai. She has filed a petition last month against then Senior Inspector Rajaram Prabhu, Inspector Ravi Sawant, Inspector Rajesh Sardesai, woman Sub-Inspector Sarita Musale of Gamdevi police station and her real brother Pradeep Harsora, sister-in-law (Bhabhi) Hiral Harsora, niece and Assistant Public Prosecutor. The copy of the writ petition is available with ABI (Akela Bureau of Investigation).
According to Kusum, her father late Narottamdas Harsora has left property worth approximately Rs 300 crores. But her brother Pradeep Harsora has deprived Kusum and her mother late Pushpa Harsora of all their rights and harassed both of them with horrible domestic violation, abuse and constant humiliation with an intent to throw them out of the house and grab the said property for himself. Kusum had left her job in the USA so that she could take care of her ailing mother and accepted the responsibility of taking care of her. She also tried to support her mother and her late brothers Jitendra and Vijay to ensure that they get their fair share in the family wealth as per their legal rights. It is alleged that Pradeep made a fake WILL of his late father in connivance with his two sisters and has been trying to get the fake will probated in the since last 16 years.
On May 7, 2014, Pradeep, his wife Hiral and his daughter assaulted Kusum. Pradeep was in a heavily inebriated state and he allegedly touched and pushed Kusum’s chest. They pulled Kusum’s hair and dragged her out of the bedroom to throw her out of the flat and gain wrongful possession.
Kusum called Gamdevi police station but police ignored her calls and pleas for help and assistance in this matter. The beat officers told her to go to police station after 11 in the evening, despite her severe injuries. Kusum then called on the women’s helpline number 1090. Police arrived post 1.30 in the night. After that call, Gamdevi police reached her residence took her statement. However, to Kusum’s absolute shock and horror, the police officers later sat down with Pradeep and his wife at their dining table and started casually chatting with them over a cup of tea. Policemen, Pradeep and Hiral had smiles on their faces as they chatted and it was clear to Kusum that they have arrived at some kind of quid pro quo arrangement.
On Kusum’s persistent follow-up, finally, on May 8, 2015, at 5 pm police registered FIR under sections 354, 323, 341, 504 r/w 34 of IPC against Pradeep, Hiral and niece. Two hours later, however, police also registered an FIR on behest of Pradeep’s daughter and Kusum’s niece against Kusum under sections 354 and 509 of IPC. This was not even revealed to Kusum. Kusum was called to the police station on May 19, 2015 on the pretext of recording her statement. However, the moment she reached there the policemen arrested her under sections 7, 8, 11, 12 of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 (which was added to the FIR as an afterthought by police).
It was only when Kusum was produced before the court that she found out that she had been arrested for molestation of her niece who was a minor. Kusum had to spend 7 days Byculla Jail where she suffered severe hardship and humiliation. Since the case against Kusum was fabricated, the police tried their best to implicate Kusum in other matters and also filed two Non-Cognizable Complaints (NC’s) against her. However, at no stage did police arrest Kusum’s brother Pradeep and his wife Hiral and her Niece, based on Kusum’s original FIR. They also succeeded in getting anticipatory bail from the courts with three months of registering of the FIR against them. This was possible due to possible connivance with the police officials as well as negligence of the police officials. The Police failed to remain present in the court to oppose granting anticipatory bail to Pradeep and his family.
Interestingly, on September 16, 2015, Gamdevi police (Inspector Rajesh Sardesai) gave in writing before Sessions Court that no evidence was found against Kusum Harsora and there was no eyewitness to the alleged incident. So under section 169 of CrPC, Court discharged Kusum from the case and dropped all the charges against her. Following this on January 22, 2019, Metropolitan Magistrate, Girgaon also discharged Kusum from all charges framed against her including the heinous charges applied against her from POCSO ACT. At the time of passing the order, Metropolitan Magistrate observed and remarked that Gamdevi police has misguided this court earlier. The fact was not brought before the court.
Thus it is clear that the charges and FIR filed against Kusum was completely false and she was deliberately framed by the police officers, at her brother’s behest. The police arrested Kusum illegally under false charges and abused and humiliated her. They cause tremendous injury to her mind and reputation, creating severe emotional stress and tension due to the stigma of arrest under such heinous fabricated charges. The basic human rights of Kusum, guaranteed by the constitution were violated.
“I have filed the petition for action against erring police officers and also demanded Rs 10 crore towards compensation from Gamdevi police officers as well as all involved in my arrest,” said Kusum.