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Depute Young And Fit Police Officials And Not Overweight Officials So Accused Do Not Escape During Police Raids: P&H HC To State ADGP [Read Order]

Sparsh Upadhyay
12 Oct 2020 1:35 PM GMT
Depute Young And Fit Police Officials And Not Overweight Officials So Accused Do Not Escape During Police Raids: P&H HC To State ADGP [Read Order]
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday (08th October) expressed its concern over some of the cases under the NDPS Act and the majority of cases under the Excise Act, that on seeing the police party, the accused managed to run away from the spot.The Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan directed the Additional Director-General of Police, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab to not depute...

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday (08th October) expressed its concern over some of the cases under the NDPS Act and the majority of cases under the Excise Act, that on seeing the police party, the accused managed to run away from the spot.

The Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan directed the Additional Director-General of Police, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab to not depute such police officials to nab the accused, especially those who are overweight and unable to run and who have failed to nab the accused at the spot on previous occasions.

The Bench further stated,

"It has been noticed in some of the cases under the NDPS Act and the majority of cases under the Excise Act that on seeing the police party, the accused managed to run away from the spot and in some cases, it has been noticed that on the basis of secret information, while raiding the house of the accused person, he jumped from the roof or scaled the wall and police party consisting of 4-5 persons failed to arrest him."

Matter before the Court

Notably, the Bench was hearing an anticipatory bail application in connection with FIR No.172 dated 16.09.2020 under Section 15 of NDPS Act, registered at Police Station Nihal Singh Wala, District Moga.

As per the allegations in the FIR, the police party saw a person coming on the feet, carrying a plastic bag and on seeing the police party, he threw the bag and ran away from the spot.

It was also submitted that the petitioner is a man aged about 45 years and the police party comprised of a number of officials, despite that, the petitioner managed to escape and the police party was not able to catch him.

After hearing the counsel for the parties and considering the fact that the petitioner was not involved in any other case; he is a man of middle age about 45 years and despite the presence of 4-5 police officials, he managed to run away from the spot, raises a doubt about the incident, the petition was allowed and the petitioner was granted anticipatory bail subject to the conditions envisaged under Section 438 (2) Cr.P.C.

Court's Directions

Further, the Additional Director General of Police, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab was directed to collect such FIRs mainly under the Excise Act, where the accused ran away from the spot in presence of the police party and try to find out the reasons as to why in the number of FIRs, the same thing is happening.

The Additional Director General of Police, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab was further directed not to depute such police officials especially those who are overweight and unable to run and who have failed to nab the accused at the spot, in the investigation of such cases despite the fact that the accused persons are either of middle age and even older person, as it is noticed in a number of cases.

Thereafter, the Court also directed that the physical fitness test of all the police officials, who failed to arrest the accused person, be conducted at the Police Training Academies in presence of a team of doctors and if need be, all these police officials be deputed for the physical training session of three months to make them physically fit for conducting the raid or in the alternative, the Additional Director General of Police, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab will explore the possibility of deputing young and fit officials, where the raid under the Excise Act is to be conducted.

The report of the ADGP, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab was directed to be submitted before the Registrar General of this Court within a period of three months from the date of the order.

Notably, the Punjab & Haryana High Court had recently observed that almost in all cases under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957 and the Punjab Excise Act, 1914 which come before the Court (regarding conducting of the raid by the Punjab Police on the basis of secret information), the offenders were alleged to have fled from the spot at the time of the raid.

The Bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi had further observed that "this coincidence in all such cases is very strange" and that it is "suggestive of either leakage of information regarding the raid to the offender by some police officer/official or manipulation of record by the police officers/officials conducting the raid who allow the offenders to escape or inefficiency of the raiding police officers/officials in suffering escape of the offenders despite their empowerment by law to use reasonable force for preventing such escape." (Emphasis supplied)

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