Chandigarh, January 20
Rapping the investigating agencies of Punjab and Haryana for inaction and not taking to logical conclusion the FIRs registered against MPs and MLAs, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has summoned the DGPs of the two states.
Why cases not taken to logical end, asks HC
- The Punjab and Haryana HC has summoned the DGPs of Punjab and Haryana
- Punjab DGP admonished for accepting as ‘just’ reasons for not proceeding with probe
- Haryana DGP rapped for filing affidavit for the sake of it
In a scathing order on the functioning of the investigating and prosecuting agencies, the Bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Vikram Aggarwal asserted: “Strangely enough, where a public servant is being prosecuted, months have been taken for giving such a sanction/approval or at least taking a decision thereof.”
The Punjab DGP was also virtually admonished for accepting as “just and reasonable” the reasons for not proceeding with the investigations. The Bench asserted the reasons reflected in the documents appended along with the DGP’s affidavit showed a “very grim picture” regarding the competence of the investigating agencies. “It appears that the law is not known to them and they have, in fact, not been trained properly. Strange enough are the reasons which have been mentioned,” it said. The Bench asserted there was some semblance of light in the dark horizon when the case was taken up on a previous date of hearing. But “whatever light we had seen has disappeared”. Affidavits filed before the court did not really reflect any progress. The assurances given by the counsel representing the respondents were mere words to be heard. The court under a mistaken belief accepted the same at its face value. But the “action now taken did not reflect the intent and purpose for which the assurances were sought to be made”.
The Bench added the observations were not to be elaborated and substantiated with reference to the figures reflected in the affidavits. Oral observations during the hearing were not being put in writing for not hampering or adversely affected the morale of the investigating agency.
“We would like the DGP, Punjab, to be present in person on the next date of hearing and explain the reasons as to why the process for investigation in the FIRs registered against the MPs/MLAs is not being taken to its logical end,” the Bench asserted.
Referring to the reasons given by Haryana, the Bench added the same “really show as if time is being while off for one reason or the other”. “It appeared as if the investigating agencies and even the officer up to the DGP level took it as routine to get an affidavit filed, which merely fill up the gaps for the sake of it without there being actual progress,” it said.
One of the documents filed by Haryana said an FIR dated October 18, 2005, for cheating and other offences under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against former CM Om Parkash Chautala, and then Haryana Public Service Commission chairman KC Bangar regarding irregularities in lecturers’ recruitment in 2001.
Letters dated August 29, 2022, were written to the State for grant of sanction for prosecution of 31 accused, one of whom was now-MLA Pardeep Chaudhary. The Bench asserted the FIR was registered on October 18, 2005, and investigation completed in 2022. “We would like Haryana DGP to be present in court to explain the inaction on the part of the investigating and prosecuting agencies,” it said.
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