Justice Mehra to probe Delhi police lapses

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Justice Usha Mehra
New Delhi, Dec 25: Justice Usha Mehra, a former judge of Delhi High court, will investigate the police lapses in the case of the gangrape of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi on December 16 and also into the Sub Divisional Magistrate's complaint of police interference while recording the rape survivor's statement.

The inquiry by one-person panel follows Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's complaint to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Dikshit had written to Shinde to order a high level inquiry into reports that top policemen interfered in the recording of the 23-year-old gangrape survivor's statement.The Sub Divisional Magistrate trying to record the statement of the survivor said the police officials' briefing did not match the survivor's statement, citing pressure from the police.

These are serious allegations at a time when both the government and the Delhi Police are dealing with credibility crisis after the brutal gangrape case. If proven, these will lead to violation of rules under the Indian Penal Code, which says that there can be no interference by other policemen while recording the statement.

Justice Mehra is a graduate (B.A., L.L.B.) of Punjab University Chandigarh and joined the Bar in 1962. She was the first lady to be appointed as the Registrar of the High Court of Delhi in 1984 and in July 1990 became judge of the High Court of Delhi.

Her famous case as Delhi HC judge was that of Parliament attack case. She is also know in Delhi for taking up the of case of trafficking in women. Due to the HC's intervention, about 300 minor girls were rescued from G.B. Road (redlight district of Delhi). They were rehabilitated and reintegrated with their families.

After retirement from service in 2003, she has served as a chairperson of a panel to review cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

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