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Allowing Jail Premises To Be Used For Committing Crime Would Put Members Of The Society Under Serious Threat: Allahabad High Court [Read Order]

Sparsh Upadhyay
10 Nov 2020 12:13 PM GMT
Allowing Jail Premises To Be Used For Committing Crime Would Put Members Of The Society Under Serious Threat: Allahabad High Court [Read Order]
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"If the premises of a district jail facility are itself so porous and its administration so lax, as may allow such jail premises to be used to commit further crime both outside and inside the jail, the members of the society would be under a serious threat and the entire social and civil structure and the order would be at risk of erosion", observed the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday...

"If the premises of a district jail facility are itself so porous and its administration so lax, as may allow such jail premises to be used to commit further crime both outside and inside the jail, the members of the society would be under a serious threat and the entire social and civil structure and the order would be at risk of erosion", observed the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday (04th November).

The Bench of Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh was hearing an anticipatory bail application filed on behalf of the applicant - Imran, seeking anticipatory bail in Case Crime No. 30 of 2019, under Sections - 147, 148, 149, 323, 504, 506, 394, 342, 364, 120-B I.P.C. & Section 7 Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.

Case against the Applicant

Allegations of unauthorised entry in a District Jail, Deoria and of the commission of serious cognizable offence inside the cell of a jail inmate were made against the applicant.

It has also been alleged in the FIR related to the instant case that the victim had been abducted at Prayagraj and taken to District Jail, Deoria where he was assaulted inside a jail cell on 22.11.2018.

It was submitted by the Counsel for the applicant/accused that in the first place, the applicant had not visited the District Jail, Deoria on 22.11.2018, and that the applicant was in fact, busy attending a marriage ceremony at Prayagraj on 22.11.2018.

He also submitted that if the location of the applicant's cellular phone would be checked, it would show that he was present on 22.11.2018 at Prayagraj and he never travelled to Deoria on that day.

It was submitted that the FIR registered is wholly belated inasmuch as the incident is alleged to have taken place on 22.11.2018 whereas the FIR was first registered on 8.1.2019 i.e. after more than one month.

On the other hand, keeping in mind the nature of allegations made in the FIR, it was submitted that complete freedom may be granted to the Investigating Officer to carry out his task as the nature of allegations are most serious involving use of district jail premises to commit serious offences.

The AGA, appearing on behalf of the State also pointed out that the applicant has a criminal history of three cases.

In short, it was submitted that the allegations made in the FIR, are of commission of most serious offences within the jail premises by people who have earlier been accused of commission of serious and/or heinous offences. Therefore, even otherwise, the Court may not interfere in the exercise of its discretion.

Court's Order

The Court was of the view that even on a prima-facie basis, it couldn't admit a possibility at the instant stage that the applicant was not one of the 5-6 persons who went inside the district jail, Deoria, on 22.11.2018.

Regarding the submission of the Applicant that there was a delay in the registration of the FIR, the Court Said,

"If a citizen is abducted and his abductors have the audacity and the means to take the abducted inside the district jail premises for the purposes of the commission of serious cognizable offence, the only surprise that the Court may express is at such a citizen having found enough courage to lodge an FIR, thereafter. The courage shown would be commendable."

The Court further said that the time taken by the victim to act and to lodge FIR could only be described as reasonable. However, the Court did not comment on the truthfulness of the allegations as the matter is pending investigation.

Yet the Court underlined and emphasised that the investigation be carried out meticulously, in the right earnest, free from any influence other than to discover the truth and no stone be left unturned to uncover it, speedily.

Further, the Court said,

"The police owes an obligation to the laws and society. If such an offence has been committed, not only it has a chilling effect on the individual members of the society who, for their individual circumstances may not be strong enough to counter the threats posed to them by such offences and offenders but more importantly it completely undermines the authority of law and the law enforcing agencies as also justice delivery structure, created and supported by our Constitution."

Accordingly, purely to secure the minimum interest of justice, certain observations were made while rejecting the anticipatory bail application of the Applicant:

· The SSP, Prayagraj has been directed to personally ensure that the investigation is carried out strictly in accordance with the law with the utmost expedition, which duty the said authority is otherwise obliged to perform by very nature of his official position and also by virtue of the implied trust of the society.

· The SSP Prayagraj has been directed to personally remain cognizant of the security and safety of the first informant as also all witnesses of fact during the currency of the investigation as also till the conclusion of the trial, if any.

· The concerned magistrate has been directed to remain cognizant of his jurisdiction and powers to ensure that a fair and proper investigation is conducted in the case, keeping in mind the law laid down in that regard by the Supreme Court in Sakiri Vasu Vs. State of U.P. & Ors., (2008) 2 SCC 409.

· For the purposes of securing a fair and proper investigation, the learned magistrate has been asked to remain vigilant as to the safety and security of the first informant and the witnesses during the investigation and he may pass such order in that regard, as may appear necessary if the SSP Prayagraj fails to discharge the trust placed on him, by virtue of the earlier directions issued above.

Lastly, the Court said that it could not turn a blind eye to the allegations made in the FIR which, "if true, would fall in the nature of most undesirable and impermissible nature of the organised crime, as narrated in the FIR".

In view of the above, the anticipatory application was rejected.

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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