Charges added to FIR after interim bail, cops apologise - ECAS Punjab

Charges added to FIR after interim bail, cops apologise

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Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 28

More than two months after the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled that the police cannot add an offence to a pre-existing FIR after the court has granted interim bail to an accused, two cops have shown "repentance" and tendered unconditional and unqualified apology in the matter.

The apology came on a petition filed by an accused against the State of Punjab and other respondents. Justice Arun Monga observed that the petitioner was granted interim anticipatory bail vide an order issued on December 16, 2019, before being directed to join the investigation.

An FIR in the matter was registered on May 4, 2019, for kidnapping and other offences at a police station in Ferozepur district under Sections 363, 366-A and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

The petitioner joined the investigation, but the offence of rape under Section 376 of the IPC was later added in the FIR. Despite interim bail granted to the petitioner in the FIR, he was arrested by the police on March 9 without the leave of the court or seeking cancellation/modification of the interim bail order. As a result, the petitioner moved the court for legal action against the Station House Officer and the Investigating Officer concerned for wilfully disobeying the interim bail order. Taking note of the conduct of the police officials "to overreach the order/direction of the High Court", the Bench issued notice to the then SHO Raman Kumar and Investigating Officer Gurdev Singh to show cause why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them.

In response to the contempt notice, both the officials tendered unconditional and unqualified apology before undertaking to be careful in future and take corrective steps.

"In the circumstances, taking into account the repentance shown by both the contemnors, their apology is accepted. The pre-contempt show-cause notice issued to them is dropped," Justice Monga asserted.

from The Tribune

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