["Hindustan Times", New Delhi Edition on May 31,2009, page no. 01]

WHEN POLICEMEN in Dwarka charged a newlymarried couple with obscenity for â€Å“sitting in an objectionable positionâ€Â and kissing openly near a Metro station in September last year, they said it was done as â€Å“passersby were annoyed and embarrassedâ€Â.

Eight months down the line, it turns out that it is the police who have been left deeply embarrassed by the criminal proceedings against the couple.

So much so that Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal has informed the Delhi High Court that he is ready to write a letter of apology to the couple for â€Å“the hardship they were subjected toâ€Â.

The police had earned severe criticism from the Delhi High Court for â€Å“overreactingâ€Â after the couple filed a plea seeking dropping of the charges.

An angry judge even ordered an inquiry against the policemen involved. This was after the couple told the court that the policemen sought Rs 20,000 for setting them free or for booking them for a lesser offence.

Questioning how an expression of love by a married couple at a public place amounts to obscenity, Justice S. Muralidhar quashed the FIR against them. He also asked the state to pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 each to the man and woman.

The 28-year-old man and 23-year-old woman were booked under IPC Section 294 (obscene act) with maximum imprisonment of three months and Section 34 (act done by more than one person in furtherance of common intention).

â€Å“The gesture of the Delhi Police in offering to write a letter of apology to each of the petitioners, which it is expected would be done immediately, will doubtless earn goodwill for themâ€Â, the judge said.

The judge went on to quash the FIR after a fresh vigilance inquiry ordered by the court exonerated the couple.

The police said they had no objection to the quashing of the FIR.


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