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Chandigarh

Posted at: May 17, 2018, 2:42 AM; last updated: May 17, 2018, 2:42 AM (IST)

HC raps UT police for ‘putting chillies in its eyes’

Hry judicial paper leak: Summons Director General of Police

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16

Rapping the UT police for “putting chillies in the eyes of the Bench” in the Haryana judicial services paper leak case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday summoned the UT Director General of Police after asserting that the force needed to set its own house in order.

Miffed over its “highly questionable conduct”, the Full Bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice GS Sandhawalia minced no words to say the police force was totally disintegrated even though Chandigarh was the capital of two states. The easy availability of copies of “sealed” statements in open police files also earned the police a knock on its knuckles.    

The admonishment came after the High Court expressed its extreme displeasure over the special investigation team’s failure to apprise it of developments, including sharing with the accused statements recorded by witnesses before magistrates under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code and application by an accused for mobile and landline call details of the investigating officer in an attempt to establish pressure on them. The failure of the district attorney to himself contest the case on the state’s behalf and to leave it to an additional district attorney with doubtful knowledge was also deprecated.

The Bench also questioned the police on a manual for carrying out investigations. “The CBI has a manual. The statements recorded under Section 164 are kept separately in a sealed file by the investigating officer. But you are not bothered. At least adopt a model or investigating procedure…. 

“The statement before the magistrate was kept in a sealed cover, although it was available in the files of the investigating officer without being sealed in an envelope. The very purpose or object of keeping the statements in a sealed cover is defeated. Apparently, a proper system is not being followed,” the Bench asserted.      

  Visibly upset over the prosecution’s failure to point out everything, the Bench questioned the usefulness of its monitoring the investigation. “Application could have been filed in case of anything abnormal such as the accused wanting the call details of SIT members. Were you sleeping? Were calmpose tablets given?”

The Bench recorded in its order that it was apprised of certain disturbing facts during the hearing, such as application of the accused for statements under Section 164 and for mobile/landline telephone numbers of SIT members after levelling specific allegations that they were being influenced by high-ups and were taking instructions.

“We also want to know under whose influence is the SIT; whom are they working for?  No feathers were ruffled in the Secretariat when the application was moved. The call details of SIT members are to be monitored by an accused. We have not seen such a thing. It is putting chillies in our eyes...

“The accused has made you an accused. He is getting statement after statement and the police are defenceless. All your channels will be closed by him and you are happy. He is behind bars and has put the investigating agency in the dock”.

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