In the absence of legal infirmity in the decision-making process, the Calcutta High Court has decided that it cannot exercise authority under Article 226 of the Constitution to substitute its conclusions for those of the Income Tax Settlement Commission.
“The lackadaisical approach of the prosecution, as well as the investigating agency in riots cases, has been brought to the notice repeatedly of not only the DCP North East and Joint CP Eastern Range but also the Commissioner of Police, Delhi,” said Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg.
“It deemed to be appropriate to once again direct the Commissioner of Police Delhi to personally look into the issues raised by this Court and to ensure proper prosecution of the riots cases failing which, the Court shall be constrained to pass adverse orders as provided by law against the State, including but not limited to the imposition of adjournment costs on the State with a fudge factor,” the judge said.
The strongly-worded order also instructed the Delhi Police Commissioner to ensure the presence of the DCP (northeast district) before the Court if he wished to take advantage of a personal hearing on the next date and to inform the Court of any difficulties he was having in complying with the Court’s directions. Otherwise, the Court warned, it would be forced to issue an appropriate order in accordance with the law without additional opportunity for a hearing.
The remarks were made on September 17 at the hearing of a case against an accused Rohit, who was meant to have his submissions on the charges’ cognizance considered.
Due to the absence of the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) and the investigating officer, the case was adjourned in the morning (IO). The Court was thereafter notified that the IO was scheduled to appear in the Delhi High Court, thus the case was postponed until after lunch.
“The IO has requested an adjournment to help the Court with the facts of the case on the grounds that he has not reviewed the police file and so is unable to respond to the Court’s questions. Moreover, despite numerous calls, Ld. SPP for the State is unavailable. It’s 3.25 p.m. already. According to the record, Ld. SPP representing the State has not been in the present case for many dates, and even on the latest date of hearing, Ld. SPP only appeared after the issue was adjourned in the morning.”
The Court further noted that, according to a report from the DCP dated September 3, 2021, the SHO of the Gokalpuri police station, where the FIR was filed, had been asked to ensure that both of them were there at the same time.
“This Court does not believe to the fact that SHO PS Gokalpuri’s inability of ensuring the presence of the IO until 3.25 pm was due to the reason beyond his control as the IO had to appear before the High Court of Delhi, he should have deputed a substitute officer, duly briefed, because of his absence” the order stated.
This Court is distressed to learn that the SHO Gokalpuri failed not only to deputize the substitute IO but also to guarantee that the IO when he appeared at 3.25 p.m., went to the case file. He has also neglected to ensure Ld. SPP’s presence saves on the second call, which was to seek a pass over.”
The Court instructed that its order be forwarded to the DCP (Northeast), Joint Commissioner of Police Eastern Range, Commissioner of Police Delhi, and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi when the issue was posted on October 1.