Stepping up its pressure on Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar in the gang-rape case, Delhi Government today said he has no authority to comment on functioning of the SDM who complained of police interference while recording the statement of the 23-year-old victim.
"The police commissioner is not an authority to take a decision on the conduct of the SDM," Delhi Chief Secretary P K Tripathi said after a Cabinet meeting presided by the Chief Minister.
Asked whether the issue was being exploited to get political mileage, Tripathi vehemently rejected the allegation and said "no politics is taking place on the issue."
Sources said the cabinet discussed the letter written by Sub Divisional Magistrate Usha Chaturvedi in which she had alleged "interference" by at least three senior police officials while she was recording the statement of the victim.
They said the Cabinet endorsed Dikshit's demand to Home Minmister SushilKumar Shinde for a high-level inquiry into the complaint and felt that police should have exercised restraint in dealing with the protesters at Raisina Hills and India Gate on Saturday and Sunday.
"The cabinet felt that the police used excessive force against the protesters which is not at all acceptable," a Minister said.
The sources said the Government has decided to continue its "offensive" against the police "high-handedness" and keep pressing for improvement in policing as it felt the force can do a lot in improving the law and order situation.
Dikshit had shot off a letter to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde seeking a high-level inquiry into the Sub Divisional Magistrate's complaint. The Police Commissioner yesterday had virtually hit back at Dikshit, saying police never forced any questionnaire on the SDM.
The Home Ministry has already ordered an internal probe into allegations levelled by Dikshit.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar today wrote to the Home Ministry rebutting the charges. In his letter, Kumar refuted the allegation that police had forced a questionnaire on the Sub-Divisional Magistrate who recorded the statement of the rape victim and had refused its videography.
"We should not get excited by what people say," Tripathi said when asked about the Police Commissioner's comment that the no police officer had put any pressure on the SDM.
To a question on the SDM going on leave, Tripathi said "if she has gone on leave due to this issue, then she should return to work as government has full faith on her".
Divisional Commissioner Dharampal said the official had applied for leave in advance and it has nothing to do with the issue.
The Cabinet also decided to launch a "massive public campaign" on ensuring safety of women in the city.
Sources said Dikshit has specifically asked Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami to effectively regulate public transport in the city so that women travelling in them feel secure.
The city government had made a series of announcements in last three years to regulate the transport system by a slew of steps like mandatory installation of GPS on autorickshaws, taxis and DTC buses.
It had also decided to stall electronic information boards on all bus stops. But none of the decisions has been implemented so far.
Since December 2010, Delhi government had terminated permit of nearly 3,000 Blueline buses following public outcry over series of fatal incidents involving them. But some operators are plying these buses unauthorisedly across the city after painting them white.