It cannot be presumed that police officer will be biased merely because he is Facebook friend of complainant: Punjab & Haryana HC

Punjab and Haryana High Court Took Cognizance of Cases Against MLA’s and MP’s

Merely because the police official is a Facebook friend of the complainant, it cannot be presumed that he shall favour him in an illegal manner, observed the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The Court made observation while dismissing the petition seeking transfer of the investigation in a case registered at Police Station in Chandigarh, to outside the jurisdiction of Chandigarh Police.

It was alleged that Rakesh Asthana, the then Special Director, CBI and his friend/ associate, Tajinder Luthra, the then IGP, Chandigarh have influenced the administrative authorities of U.T. Chandigarh and have got registered a false FIR against the Petitioner at the behest of Ms. Gertrude D’ Souza, with an intention to extort money from the Petitioner.

Justice Sant Prakash observed that, “If a person appears in the friend list of a Facebook page of any public servant, it cannot be assumed that an official shall favour such a person in an illegal manner and maneuver investigation of a crime…. Sending of complaints by way of emails to the officials on their personal email IDs or having them as friends on social media do not give rise to any presumption of mala fide.”

“The power of transferring an investigation must be in rare and exceptional cases where the court finds it necessary in order to do justice between the parties and to instil confidence in the public mind, or where investigation by the State police lacks credibility and it is necessary for having a fair, honest and complete investigation, and particularly, when it is imperative to retain public confidence in the impartial working of the State agencies”, the Court said.

The Court added, “The high ranking police officer who has never remained posted in Chandigarh and having graduated with the husband of complainant from same university/college in the year 1982 would not necessarily lead to any inference that he was instrumental in getting the investigation conducted in a biased manner”.

Case Title: Mohit Dhawan vs. UT Chandigarh [Civil Writ Petition No.16659 of 2020]

Coram: Justice Sant Prakash

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