Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 22
The Haryana government has refused prosecution sanction against four policemen, including a DSP, an inspector, a retired inspector and an Exemptee Sub Inspector (ESI), in a CBI case related to the false implication of a bus conductor for the murder of a 7-year-old boy of a Gurugram school.
During a resumed hearing before CBI Special Magistrate, Haryana, Panchkula, a letter from Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Home Rajeev Arora to the CBI, dated February 19, refusing sanction, was placed on record.
In the last court hearing on February 2, CBI Special Magistrate, Haryana, Dr Aman Inder Singh, had passed strictures against Principal Secretary Home, DGP Haryana and Commissioner of Police Gurugram for “sleeping” over the request of the CBI for prosecution sanction for five months like a “Kumbhakarna” instead of discharging their duties.
The CBI has been alleging that then Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sohna (Gurugram) Birem Singh along with then SHO Bhondsi police station (Gurugram) Inspector Narinder Khatana, then Sub Inspector Shamsher Singh of Bhondsi and Exemptee Sub Inspector (ESI) Subhash Chand of Bhondsi manipulated documents against school bus conductor Ashok Kumar and voluntarily caused hurt to extort his confession for the murder of the 7-year-old boy.
While intimating refusal of sanction under section 197 of CrPC, Arora told CBI, “...it is observed that merely oral statements have been relied upon and no medical documents have been placed on record regarding voluntarily causing hurt to Ashok Kumar to extort confession. The said Ashok Kumar was subjected to regular medical examination during the police custody and such medical documents are required to be relied upon and to be cited in the investigation report.
"The other charges related to inaccurate documentation. Some amount of inaccuracy and discrepancy, minor in nature, is found in police documentation, which cannot per-se punishable by criminal prosecution unless there is criminal intent and mens-rea proving such intent to falsely implicate any person.”
He added, “The charges sought to be made against the police officials are distinct and severable from the main case entrusted to the CBI. An act or omission or lack of efficiency or failure to attain highest standard of investigating ability may not, by itself, amount to or constitute an offence.
“Error of judgment in evaluating the situation, may be some sort of negligence but would not constitute an offence in the absence of the intent and mens-rea.”
He pointed out that under Section 197 of CrPC, the government acts in an executive capacity and while doing so the objective of the protection given under section 197 “to protect public servants against the institution of possible vexatious criminal proceedings is to be considered”.
In case of then ACP Birem Singh, he further said that after carefully examining the material placed before him, Governor of Haryana is satisfied that “there is no sufficient material to prosecute him”.
While CBI counsel told the court that he wanted to seek instructions from his department for further proceedings in the case, counsel Sushil K Tekriwal, representing victim’s father, stated that he would challenge the order of ACS Home by the way of writ.
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