Kerala HC Tells Govt To Separate Crime Investigation And Maintenance Of Law And Order [Read Judgment]

Investigation of serious crimes entrusted to unskilled, amenable and influenceable police officers will do great amount of disservice to the citizenry, the bench said.

Taking a note of the ‘sad state of affairs’ prevailing in the state in the matter of crime investigation, the Kerala High Court has asked the government to take some concrete action to separate crime investigation and the maintenance of law and order.

A division bench comprising Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice Hariprasad observed that despite giving definite directions on various matters for improving the law and order situation, crime investigation and efficiency of police force, sadly no change could be seen in crime investigation and it continues to be in the same pathetic and disgusting condition.

This Court in Joseph Kuncheria v. State of Kerala (2014 (3) KLT 1) has reminded all concerned that the responsibility of Police would not end by submission of a final report,” the bench said.

The bench made this observation while considering the appeal against trial court convictions in a double murder case in Nelliyampathy in 1992.

The Crime Branch had indicted 12 persons in the case. All accused, except two, were convicted by the trial court after 17 years of the incident, i.e., in 2009.

Disposing of the appeals filed by the convicts, acquitting one of them and affirming convictions of the rest, the court said: “Established facts unravel a saga tending to destroy the credibility of the investigative machinery by delaying investigation and distorting evidence on unjustifiable reasons. Only on account of the best efforts by PW64, the truth of a gruesome double murder could be brought to light. Genuine, committed and timely action on the part of the investigating officer would have earned much more credibility to the police force and it would have been easy to gather reliable evidence without much effort.”

Read the Judgment here.

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