The Bombay High Court on Wednesday ordered the release of an illegally detained man and allowed the petition filed by his wife.
A division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice PD Naik was hearing the habeas corpus petition filed by the detainee’s wife.
Advocate Rizwan Merchant appeared for the petitioner and argued that the police did not comply with Section 41 A of the CrPC which contemplates notice of appearance before a police officer. However, such notice was issued to the detainee on March 16 and he was arrested the next day, Merchant said.
Whereas the prosecution asserted that the detainee had refused the notice served to him by the police.
The court went through the panchnama with APP JP Yagnik and concluded that nothing pointed towards the fact that the detainee had refused to accept the notice served to him. But, APP Yagnik sought more time to produce the entire file in order to point out that the detainee had refused, time was granted.
On the next day, the court went through the entire file, including the entry in the police diary, the remand report and such other documents and said: “We do not see any compliance with the mandate of law. There was thus no justification provided and from the records as to how this police functionary proceeded and arrested the petitioner's husband when the petitioner's husband is supposed to have remained present before him on 17th March 2018 at 11.00 am pursuant to a notice dated 16th March 2018.”
The court concluded: “The panchnama and related documents belie the contents of the notice and the alleged refusal on the part of the petitioner's husband. Once this was the position, then, the mandate of Article 21 is clearly flouted by this high-handed action of the respondents.”
The court directed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to launch disciplinary proceedings against the police officer who arrested the detainee wrongfully and illegally. It finally ordered the detainee to be released at 5 pm on Wednesday itself.