Courts have power to monitor and supervise police investigation

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NEW DELHI: The court has power to monitor and supervise the investigation, so as to ensure that the investigation is carried out fairly and impartially,” a Delhi Court observed while deciding a bail plea of an accused Faheem in a case of theft, sexual assault and criminal intimidation.

“Even if the investigation is prerogative of the investigation agency, the IO as well as his senior officers including the DCP and above rank police officers should keep in mind that this discretion is not absolute,” Additional Session Judge Atul Krishna Agrawal said, adding that the investigation agency cannot act as per their whims and fancies and the courts have ample power to check the misuse or abuse of the power by the investigation agencies.

The court also referred to the Supreme Court judgement which held that the court cannot only direct registration of FIR but also have the power to supervise and monitor the investigation so as to ensure that the investigation is carried out fairly and impartially.

“Hence, it is expected that the energy of senior police officers is better spent in improving the investigation mechanism instead of justifying manifestly improper conduct of the investigation officer,” the court observed.

The court made the observation in view of the report filed by the deputy commissioner of police, stating, “The investigation of the present case was monitored by senior officers as per the observation of the Court. Further, the present case was examined on merits.

It was found to be devoid of seeking the intervention of any specialised investigation or other agency. Hence the investigation, being the prerogative of the Investigation Agency, was not transferred.”

The court said it is constrained to make certain observations in view of the report of the DCP as it is based on wrong premises besides being evasive in nature.

The predecessor court had repeatedly given direction for filing timely reports in view of the observation made in the orders. However, the same were not complied with and the court was kept in dark, it observed.

“Even a police officer ranked as high as Additional DCP gave an assurance to the court that he will communicate to the court about the decision taken by his senior police officer regarding the investigation to be done by a specialized agency on August 5, 2022, but he did not do so,” the court added.

Even on later dates, the information was not given to the court, it further remarked, adding that this in itself shows the callous attitude of the senior police officers in such an important matter.

The court further pointed out that as per the above report, an impression is sought to be given that the learned predecessor court had directed the transfer of investigation of this case to some other agency.

However, no such direction was ever given in the matter either by this court or the predecessor court in any of the order.

It was Additional DCP Akshat Kaushal who informed the learned predecessor court on August 4, 2022, that a decision relating to the transfer of investigation to some specialized agency dealing with land grabbing matters, appeared to be necessary, the court added.

“Hence, for the present DCP to say that the investigation being prerogative of the investigation agency, was an uncalled-for remark and should have been avoided,” the court observed.

It stated further that since the matter of government land encroachment is now within the notice of the government agencies concerned, no further direction is required on the said aspect.

The court made these observations while holding a hearing on the bail plea filed by a man named Faheem.

A case against him and another accused person was registered at the IP Estate police station. The case was filed under sections of theft, sexual assault and criminal intimidation.

Advocate Deepak Sharma, the counsel for the accused, argued that no notice was given to the accused before his arrest.

The court on May 5, 2022, observed, “Prima facie the attempt of both the complainant and the accused appears to be, to establish their claim over public land on one pretext or the other.

The possibility of this being a case of inter se dispute between two gangs of land mafia involved in grabbing and sale of buildings illegally constructed by the encroachment of government land by roping in the government agencies, cannot be ruled out.” (ANI)

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