8 Aug 2022 5:30 AM GMT
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently observed that Police is not supposed to act as a super boss of the public administration system. A bench of Justice Rahul Bharti observed, "In case any public servant is to be subjected to a surveillance mode by a rank holder police official on the pretext of a complaint received without first entertaining the said complaint into...
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently observed that Police is not supposed to act as a super boss of the public administration system.
A bench of Justice Rahul Bharti observed,
"In case any public servant is to be subjected to a surveillance mode by a rank holder police official on the pretext of a complaint received without first entertaining the said complaint into a formal process, then surely the very confidence of the public servant in acting and doing his duty will be subjected to a paralysis".
The Court was hearing a plea in terms of which the petitioner, employed as a Junior Engineer in PHE Department, had called in question a course of action in which the Superintendent of Police Doda had entertained an anonymous complaint addressed against him and the action of SHO, addressing the impugned letter to the Petitioner's Head of Department asking for the information concerning the petitioner who is working under him.
The petitioner in his plea sought to attribute the filing of this anonymous complaint against him to vested interests operating against him who are having political score to settle with his father-in-law.
The petitioners further contended that all this stated aspect of the case had no bearing in the context of the legal aspect, which is the competence of the respondent SSP Doda & SHO P/S Doda to seize the said anonymous complaint and use it at their own level without even registering it as an FIR.
Adjudicating upon the matter, Justice Bharti frowned over the manner police has acted in the matter and observed that the perusal of the objections filed on behalf of respondents would show that it is no where disclosed as to how respondent no. 2 i.e. the Superintendent of Police Doda entertained the said complaint instead of referring it to the petitioner's Head of the Department that being the Chief Engineer.
The bench questioned the action of the respondents by recording that it is not even forthcoming as to how come the respondent Station House Officer, Police Station Doda came to have the said anonymous complaint to his end for the purposes of immediately acting upon it by addressing a letter to the respondent Executive Engineer, PHE Division Doda thereby asking for information about the petitioner.
Examining the position from the legal standpoint the bench noted that in the face of the nature of the allegations levelled in the said anonymous complaint, it is is unable to figure out as to under which enabling provision of law the respondent Station House Officer Police Station Doda came to address this impugned communication on the pretext of a complaint against the petitioner to the respondent Executive Engineer, PHE Division Doda.
The respondent no. 4 had not registered any FIR or even a preliminary inquiry into the matter so as to make formal and official the alleged exercise so undertaken on his part in addressing the impugned communication to the respondent no. 3 i.e. the Executive Engineer, PHE Division Doda, the bench recorded.
"It is strange that the author of the anonymous complaint in the complaint has no where mentioned the fact as to why he/she has chosen to address the complaint directly to the Superintendent of Police, Doda and not to the Chief Engineer concerned and there is also no reference in the complaint that the complainant had in fact first apprised the Chief Engineer concerned or the superior officers of the petitioner about the alleged acts of omission and commission on the part of the petitioner related to his official status and position. This aspect does show that the said anonymous complaint was nothing but a set up aimed to harass a public servant", Justice Bharti observed.
Allowing the petition, the bench accordingly quashed the impugned communication issued by the Station House officer, Police Station Doda to the Executive Engineer, PHE Division Doda.
Case Title : Sadat Hussain Vs State of J&K.
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 92
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment