3 Feb 2022 7:07 AM GMT
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has once again expressed reservation over the manner in which the Police Department is functioning, especially with respect to the executing the summons / bailable warrants / warrants issued against the witnesses.It rejected a report submitted by the Police Department regarding the daily monitoring of execution of summons / warrants in District Morena as the...
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has once again expressed reservation over the manner in which the Police Department is functioning, especially with respect to the executing the summons / bailable warrants / warrants issued against the witnesses.
It rejected a report submitted by the Police Department regarding the daily monitoring of execution of summons / warrants in District Morena as the same was prepared in a "slipshod manner".
Justice G.S. Ahluwalia did not hold back from expressing the Court's despondency over the state of affairs in the Police Department as well as the casual manner in which the officers concerned were participating in the proceedings.
Also Read: Lethargy Towards Judiciary & Right To Speedy Trial: Madhya Pradesh HC Expresses Concern Over Non-Execution Of Summons/ Warrants By Police
The Court had initially directed the Superintendent of Police, District Morena, vide order dated 20.09.2021 to either ensure the service of notice to Respondent or submit explanation for his failure to do the same. Since, the officer did not follow either of the directions, the Court sought for his personal presence in the next date of hearing.
Summarising the submissions of the Police Department between 20.09.2021 and 07.12.2021, the court vide order dated 07.12.2021 had noted-
The present case is a glaring example of the hostile attitude of the District Police of District Morena towards the law and order situation. The District Police of District Morena is not at all interested in serving the summons / bailable warrants / perpetual warrants. Initially, this Court had issued notice to one Smt. Bhuribai to show cause as to why the bail granted to her be not cancelled. The notices were directed to be served through Superintendent of Police, Morena. But, the Superintendent of Police, Morena did not think it proper to respond to the said notice.
In the respective order, the court repeatedly called out the S.P. concerned for filing "vague and misleading reports" and sharing information which was misleading and incorrect, even to his own knowledge. The Court observed-
Shri Lalit Shakyawar, Superintendent of Police, Morena was well aware of this fact that this Court was dealing with summons/bailable warrants of arrest/warrants of arrest/perpetual warrants of arrest, which are pending. Even in the earlier part of the order dated 3/12/2021 this Court had referred to the pendency of summons/bailable warrants of arrest/warrants of arrest/perpetual warrants of arrest. But a false status report has been filed pointing out the oldest summons/bailable warrants of arrest/warrants of arrest by showing that some of them have already been executed, whereas this Court is concerned about the oldest summons/bailable warrants of arrest/warrants of arrest/perpetual warrants of arrest which are pending. Thus, it is clear that Shri Lalit Shakyawar, Superintendent of Police, Morena has decided not to take any serious action in the matter and he has decided to throw different circulars issued by the PHQ itself in the dustbin at the cost of law and order situation.
As the officer was dealing with the situation in a casual manner, the Court directed the DGP, M.P. to look into the matter and file his affidavit on a list of issues laid out by the Court in the said order.
On the next date of hearing, i.e., 25.01.2022, the Court again communicated its discontent with the report submitted by the Police Department. It observed that the report was also an attempt to cover up the lethargy and negligence of the police authorities in executing the summons / bailable warrants / warrants issued against the witnesses. The report was concentrated on the execution of warrants issued by the High Court, whereas the officer (erstwhile DIG, Chambal Range) was aware that the Court was concerned about non-execution of summons / bailable warrants / warrants issued against the witnesses including the police personnel.
Justice Ahluwalia asserted that it is not the duty of the Court to monitor the functioning of the Police Department. Instead, the police ought to manage its own affairs. What concerns the Court, he noted, is that the Police Department is neither serious in giving protection to the witnesses nor is it serious in ensuring early examination of the witnesses to avoid any undue pressure on the them. The Court noted-
The Court is not required to awake the Police Department to discharge its official duties. Speedy trial is not only the fundamental right of an accused, but it is the paramount duty of the Police Department to provide protection to the witnesses, specifically when the Supreme Court in the case of Mahender Chawla and others Vs. Union of India and others reported in (2019) 14 SCC 615 has formulated the witness protection scheme. One way of providing protection to the witnesses is to get their evidences recorded as early as possible without any delay, so that they are not left to the mercy of the accused persons.
The Court held that the two officers i.e. S.P., District Morena and erstwhile DIG, District Morena were not interested in improving the working of the Police Department and were diverting the attention of the Court by giving misleading enquiry reports. Rejecting the status report at hand, the Court directed the DGP, M.P. to submit his personal affidavit on a list of issues laid out in the respective order.
Some of these issues are:
-Whether the police is under obligation to provide security/protection to the witnesses or not ?
The matter is listed for 8th of February, 2022.
Case Title: State of M.P. Vs. Smt. Bhuribai
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