High court lists remedies for victims of police inaction - ECAS Punjab

High court lists remedies for victims of police inaction

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that a complainant or a victim of a crime was not without remedy against deliberate inaction, unreasonable delay, failure to collect evidence, shielding of offenders and undue sympathy of police officers towards them.

Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi also made it clear that the complainant/victim could apply to the Judicial Magistrate, empowered to take cognisance of the offences in question on a police report, for monitoring of investigation.

Fair probe must

The investigation has to be fair, prompt, transparent and judicious to both the victim as well as accused. - High court

The Magistrate, in turn, could issue appropriate directions for expeditious completion of investigation. The complainant/victim could also file a complaint under Section 166A (b) of the Indian Penal Code, dealing with punishment for non-recording of information, against the investigating officer for knowingly disobeying any direction of the law regulating the manner in which he was required to conduct the investigation.

Referring to Section 197 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Justice Tyagi asserted sanction was not required in case of a public servant accused of any offence alleged to have been committed under Section 166A of the IPC.

Justice Tyagi added the complainant/victim could alternatively file a petition in the High Court for transfer of investigation to an independent agency such as the Central Bureau of Investigation. "However, it may be observed here that in a substantial number of such cases, the complainant/victim of a crime is not able to pursue these remedies due to the lack of awareness and legal aid at the initial stages," Justice Tyagi added. Dismissing as withdrawn two petitions filed for grant of anticipatory bail in a case registered for extortion and other offences under the provisions of the IPC and the Information Technology Act, Justice Tyagi asserted the Supreme Court in its judgments observed that the investigation was required to be fair, transparent and judicious as it was the minimum requirement of rule of law and justice might become a victim if the investigation was unfair.

"It follows that investigation has to be fair, prompt, transparent and judicious to both victim as well as the accused. Ineffective, unfair, obscure, inexpedient and delayed investigation negates and is the antithesis of the rule of law affirmed by Article 21 of the Constitution," Justice Tyagi added.



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