While investigating an alleged rape case, the Road Transport Office (RTO) of Vadodara has received a request from the Local Crime Branch (LCB) of the district police to determine if a sports utility vehicle (SUV) would have “enough space" for rape. The LCB asked the RTO to issue a certificate for the SUV related to the crime.
The rape has taken place on the prevailing night of April 26 and 27. The victim led a police complaint on April 30 and the suspect was held on May 2 from Jaipur in Rajasthan.
The incident is purely shocking, as the investigation is done to find out if the vehicle would have enough space after the front seat was “pushed back". The crime branch also sought a report on how sturdy the vehicle’s central locking system was.
The officials at the Vadodara RTO, who were left bewildered by the request to examine a vehicle for such a reason.
A Toyota Fortuner brand, the vehicle was owned by Bhavesh Patel, a former Padra Municipality councillor and former director of an agricultural produce market corporation (APMC). Patel is also a “notorious bootlegger", the report said.
This is the first time that the police have asked for a technical certificate for the central locking system and the leg space that can be created by pushing back the seats — these are usually not required in other criminal cases. The RTO can only give the mathematical report.
Meanwhile, the LCB officers said “the certificate was needed to validate the case, currently based on the complainant’s statement. It is necessary to prove that such a crime could have occurred in the vehicle, as reported by the woman.” The LCB also conducted “height tests" on the woman and the accused to appropriate the findings of the RTO report regarding the leg space available to commit the crime, and also asked about the central locking system about why the victim did not open the door and escape when the vehicle was stationary.
The accused was remanded to judicial custody on Saturday. He is also an influential local leader with 18 other cases against him. Hence, the police is aiming to build a “water-tight case" against him.