The Hon’ble Supreme Court on 26th March 2021, Thursday pulled up the state Director General of Police (hereinafter referred to as “DGP”) over his failure to comply with an order to arrest the accused in connection with congress leader Devendra Chaurasia’s murder in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh.
The Hon’ble bench of Justices while hearing the present petition filed in the Hon’ble SC noted that an affidavit has been filed by the Director-General of Police, MP affirming that despite the efforts which have been made in fulfillment of the order dated 12 March 2021, the police authority has not been able to detain and arrest the accused.
The Hon’ble bench additionally observed that the affidavit of the DGP is entirely unacceptable. It defies motive as to how a suspect who is also the husband of a sitting Member of the Legislative Assembly has not been detained despite being charged under the provisions of Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “Cr.PC., 1973”) to face trial for an offense under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (hereinafter referred to as “IPC. 1860”).
Subsequently, the Hon’ble bench went on to say that a determination is being made to safeguard the suspect from the due process of criminal law.
Accordingly, the Hon’ble court issued a direction to the DGP to take required steps to certify that the preceding order of the Hon’ble Court is fulfilled, failing which the Court will be forced to take coercive steps following the law.
Further, the Hon’ble Court also stated that the bench was informed that earlier, the accused was even given security by the police authorities however it was stated by Counsel for the State that it is now withdrawn. Given this, the Hon’ble bench called for an additional affidavit from the DGP setting out:
- The date on which and the cause based on which security was granted to the accused;
- Whether the security continues to be provided as of a date; and
- If not, the date on which the security was withdrawn.
The Hon’ble Madhya Pradesh HC disposed off the petition for the cancellation of the defendant’s bail, accused of having been out on bail in connection with other murder cases when he had allegedly committed murder of the victim.
While rejecting to allow the petition, the Hon’ble HC had directed that the police inquiry may be completed as early as possible within three months but not later than 90 days, that on completion of the investigation, if the accused is found involved in the commission of the crime, he be instantly taken into custody and the procedure as set be followed.
The Hon’ble court while narrating the police authorities’ required steps also mentioned that the accused shall not influence or threaten the witnesses and the complainant side. It was also noted by the Hon’ble court that the competent ASJ had issued a warrant for the arrest of the accused. After that, the said judge was being intimidated by the SP and other police officials and had complained on this behalf to the District Judge.
Thereafter, the Hon’ble bench also stated that if you cannot make the arrest, admit it that you have failed to conduct the administration as per the Constitution. Moreover directed the DGP to immediately secure the arrest of the accused, besides providing security to the said ASJ.