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Rajasthan HC Issues Notice To Police Officers Over Alleged Illegal Arrest Of RTI Activist

18 Sep 2019 12:34 PM GMT
Rajasthan HC Issues Notice To Police Officers Over Alleged Illegal Arrest Of RTI Activist
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The Rajasthan High Court has issued notices to four police officers, seeking their reply on the arrest of an RTI activist, Nand Lal Vyas, from his house in Jodhpur last year.

Allegations had been leveled by the RTI activist in a petition claiming that his arrest, effected by SHO of Mandor police station, Jodhpur along with his team in connection with a case under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act), in February last year, was violative of his right to life with dignity and right to liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution; in as much as the guidelines for arrest laid down by the Supreme Court in a plethora of cases had not been followed.

In this view, Advocate Karmendra Singh submitted on behalf of the Petitioner, who is also a govt. servant, that:

  1. Despite the transfer of his case to CID (CB) for further investigation on February 16, 2018, the concerned police officers barged into his house the very next day, i.e., on February 17, 2018 and arrested him without any authority.
  2. The SHO of Mandor police station had himself written a letter to the appointing authority of the Petitioner for directing the Petitioner to appear for investigation on February 18, 2018 and thus there was no need for the police officials to indulge in the impugned acts.
  3. The concerned police officers also misbehaved and physically harassed his family members, including his wife and daughter.
  4. The arrest was made contrary to the Supreme Court's verdict in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, (2014) 8 SCC 273, whereby it was held that arrest must be preceded by a notice under Section 41A of CrPC.
  5. No arrest memo was prepared at the time of his arrest, in violation of D.K. Basu v. State of W.B., 1997 (1) SCC 416.
  6. The arrest was made without any arrest warrant or authorized letter for arrest from the Investigation Officer.
  7. As per the provisions of the SC/ST Act, the investigation and arrest should have been made by an officer of the rank of R.P.S. and thus the arrest in the present case, made by an officer of the rank of inspector of police, was illegal.
  8. The concerned officers arrested him forcibly in front of the residents of the building and caused serious damage to his and his family's reputation in the society.

The Petitioner also claimed that he had been detained by the concerned police officials for two days, resulting in his suspension from his services. Considerably, under the state service rules if a government servant is kept in custody (police or judicial) for more than 48 hours then, he automatically gets suspended from his services till further orders.

In this regard, the Petitioner sought compensation of Rs. 20 lakh under the principle of public law remedy for harassment, humiliation and trauma faced by him and his family and for suspension from his services. He also prayed the court to declare that his arrest and detention were illegal and to take appropriate action against the errant police officers.

In view thereof, Justice Mahendra Maheshwari issued notices to then DCP Amandeep Singh Kapoor; Addl. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Anant Kumar; Assitant Commissioner of Police, Motaram and Station House Officer Pradeep Sharma and sought their responses that why the arrest of RTI activist made by them on February 17, 2018 should not be declared illegal, why compensation for wrongful arrest should not be given and why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for not following proper procedure of arrest.

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