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SANDEEP KUMAR YADAV versus STATE OF U.P. & OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Sandeep Kumar Yadav v. State Of U.P. & Others - CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. 5382 of 2006 [2006] RD-AH 16147 (15 September 2006)

 

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

Court No. 2

Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No. 5382 of 2006

Sandeep Kumar Yadav.........................................Petitioner

Versus

State of U.P. and others..................................Respondents

*****

Hon'ble Imtiyaz Murtaza, J.

Hon'ble Amar Saran, J.

We have heard Shri Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Government Advocate.

In pursuance of the order of this Court dated 21.8.2006, wherein we have issued directions (a) for taking immediate steps for arrest of the accused, who are wanted in grave cognizable cases for long period of time including cases under Sections 302, 307, 364, 364-A IPC etc. by the CB CID; (b) restraining the future transfer of investigation to the CB CID in a routine manner or at the directions of the Hon'ble Chief Minister or other authorities except in accordance with the Government Orders and the decision of this Court; and (c) ensuring that the transfer order and the official report recommending the same shall mention the reasons and rules/Government Orders for the transfer to the CBCID a counter-affidavit has been filed by the Under Secretary (Home) dated 11.9.06 indicating the steps taken for complying with our direction.

It is gratifying to note that the Secretary (Home) has issued directions on 30.8.2006 to the subordinate secretaries in the Home Department and the Director General of Police to comply with our aforesaid directions. The Director General of Police had also issued an order dated 8.9.2006 to all the S.S.P.s/S.P.s of the districts with copies to Director General, CBCID, Additional Director General of Police (Railways), all the Zonal Inspectors General of Police and all regional Deputy Inspectors General of police, relying on the Government Orders dated 5.9.1995, 26.7.2006 for strict compliance of our order dated 21.8.2006. In the said D.O. letter the D.G.P. had observed that when opinion is sought from the officers posted in the districts whether a transfer to the CBCID would be justified, vague replies without reasons are received that simply mention that the concerned officer has no objection if the case is transferred to the CBCID. Henceforth, it would be necessary that in their opinions, they must mention the reasons and details as to why the transfer to the CBCID would be justified in the circumstances, having regard to (a) the fact that the crime is so complicated that it could not be properly investigated by the local police; (b) the crime has inter-state or inter-divisional ramifications; (c) the local conditions are such due to which it has become difficult for the civil police to investigate the case fairly; and ((d) the local public has a doubt that independent investigation will not be conducted by the local police.

The said D.O. letter also highlights the directions issued by this Court vide order dated 21.8.2006 for taking steps for the immediate arrest of the accused specially where they are involved in grave cognizable cases such as under Sections 302, 307, 364,364-A IPC, etc. If the accused have not been arrested in such grave cases, the reasons for the situation must be disclosed. The CBCID must write to the concerned districts/police stations for the arrest of the wanted accused and the arrest must then be effected expeditiously and that the CBCID must be duly informed after compliance with the request.

However, this Court ruefully notes that apart from  issuing the aforesaid order/D.O. letter, significant steps have still not been taken still for effecting the arrests of wanted accused in any substantial manner, in compliance  with our earlier directions. It is mentioned in the letter dated 8.9.2006 sent by the D.G.P to the Special Secretary (Home) (Annexure CA-1) that arrest of 1918 wanted accused is still pending. According to an annexure to the first counter-affidavit filed by the Under Secretary (Home) sworn on 17.18.06, out of the 1918 cases, 515 accused had not been arrested in cases which were more than 10 years old, 606 accused in cases 10-5 years old, 597 accused in cases 5-3 years old, 300 accused in cases 3-1 years old and 200 accused in cases less than one year old.   It is further mentioned in paragraph 6 of the counter affidavit of the Under Secretary (Home), Lucknow dated 11.9.06 that after the High Court's order, only 78 wanted persons have been arrested. This constitutes a meager 4% of the total number of wanted accused and is merely the tip of the iceberg.

It is also mentioned in Annexure C.A.-1 that in the cases of 1280 accused, the matter is pending with the State Government for sanctioning the prosecution. In 154 cases, the matter is still pending before the competent authority for taking a decision, in 53 cases, even though all legal formalities in the department have been completed and the sanction from the Government has been received,  but the proposal for sanctioning the prosecution has not been sent. 353 accused persons, who may be arrested even after the needed preliminary steps that the CB CID takes before arrest, have not been arrested. A chart showing the steps taken for arresting these accused makes dismal reading.  

Another letter of the D.G., CBCID dated 28.8.2006 addressed to A.D.G.s CBCID indicates that out of 521 matters, 295 natters are pending with the State Government. 226 matters are such in which CBCID has not taken expeditious steps in time and hence they could not be disposed of. This reveals a grave situation.

It is not comprehensible to the Court as to why simply because sanctions for the prosecution have to be obtained in some cases, the accused have not been arrested, if they are wanted in grave cognizable offences. Such 41 of the Code places no fetter and empowers an investigating officer to arrest any person who may be wanted in a cognizable criminal case even without obtaining a warrant from the Courts.    

A perusal of the chart mentioning the steps taken for the arrest of the 353 accused, relating to 128 cases against whom all the steps (such as sanctions etc. that CB CID considers important for effecting arrests) haves been taken shows that proceedings under Section 82 Cr.P.C. have been initiated in hardly 13 or 14 cases and that 83 Cr.P.C. proceedings have been taken in just one or two cases, even though some of the cases are pending for more than 21 years since 1985.  

As illustrations we find that crime No. 375 of 1996, under Sections 364/323/324/294 IPC etc. mentioned at serial No. 1 of the chart, where the accused were mainly police personnel, it is mentioned that two of the accused have died and the arrest of four accused has to be effected. No information could be obtained from the police headquarters about their places of posting up to 11.7.2005. Some information was received from the Ghaziabad and Moradabad police offices about their postings. But no other steps were taken.  

In case crime No. 154 of 1990, under Sections 147/148/149/302 IPC, police station Beniganj, district Hardoi, (mentioned at S.N. 4) in which nine police personnel and two private persons were made accused according to the chart, even their places of posting were not known. A similar position emerges in a large number of cases pertaining to police personnel even though some of these matters crimes have been committed more than twenty years ago. This is a shameful state of affairs. No Government worth its salt, if it is acting in a bona fide manner to check crime and to punish offenders can take the plea even after twenty years of the crime that we do not know the place of posting or residence of members of our own police force who may have been accused or the crime. This shows that there is something rotten in the State of Denmark.

From the reading of the annexed chart, it appears that except the rare cases where requisitions for arrests under Sections 41(1)(i) and 55 Cr.P.C. have been sent to another police officer or subordinates to arrest an accused wanted in a cognizable offence without warrant, and some reminder letters to the SSPs/SPs of districts where the accused may be residing or getting non-bailable warrants issued from courts in a few cases, nothing significant has been done for effecting the concerned arrests. In a few cases, it is pointed that the proceedings for prosecution have been stayed by the High Court or other courts, but no steps appear to have taken for getting the stay orders vacated from the courts concerned.

A chart annexed to the first counter-affidavit of the Under Secretary dated 17.8.06 shows that over 2/3 rd of the transfers of investigation to the CB CID have been effected at the instance of the accused or on the recommendation of some district or police authorities (in which cases it has not been clarified as to whether these authorities had been approached by the informant or the accused). Invariably the transfers had been effected on the recommendation of ministers and other political functionaries. These rampant transfers at the instance of the accused are in the teeth of the decision of the apex Court in CBI v. Rajesh Gandhi, 1997 Cr.L.J 63 (SC) which says that ordinarily the accused has no locus standi in choosing the investigating agency which can conduct the investigation. It would be proper therefore where the investigations are not being concluded expeditiously, or where arrests have not been effected, and the transfer to the CB CID was at the instance of the accused, on the basis of political recommendations, in breach of the criteria set out in our orders and in the relevant G.O.s, that the cases be transferred back to the local police for concluding the investigation and arresting the accused expeditiously.

Failure to take any follow up action to get the stays vacated, and the indifferent effort to complete the investigations or to arrest the accused and the reluctance to effect arrests of accused of cognizable cases without warrants where there is no legal fetter lead this Court to wonder whether the Government is at all serious about controlling crime and booking offenders. These perfunctory and desultory efforts gives rise to a legitimate suspicion in the mind of the Court that the said investigations are not being concluded nor arrests effected, because as is apparent from the charts that generally persons who have succeeded in getting cases transferred to the CB CID are politically well connected, who have wielded undue influence.   If the faith of the public in the Rule of Law and a fair and objective functioning of our democratic system is to be restored then such investigations by the CB CID must be expeditiously, honestly and expeditiously concluded and the wanted accused must be promptly arrested and sent to jail irrespective of their political affiliations or financial clout.

In this view of the matter, we make the following observations and directions:

(a) Serious efforts be made to comply with the directions of this Court contained in the orders dated 24.5.2006 and 21.8.2006 and as mentioned in the D.O. letter of the D.G.P. dated 8.9.2006 in particular for speedily concluding pending investigations effecting arrests and for ensuring that future no routine transfers to the CB CID done are done at the behest of any authority and the transfers are effected strictly in accordance to the criteria mentioned hereinabove, in our earlier orders dated 24.5.06 and 21.8.06, the Government orders dated 5.9.95 and 26.7.06 and the DGP's circular dated 8.9.06, and that the district level official whose opinion is sought for the transfer exercises his independent mind, gives reasons and does not simply give a mechanical 'no objection' opinion to please political functionaries.

(b) This Court would like to see that within eight weeks the 353 accused who are eligible for arrest even as per the self imposed limitations set by the CB CID and at least 2/3rd of the total number of 1918 wanted accused are arrested. In case of non-compliance with this direction reasons for the non-arrest, if any, in each of the 353 aforementioned accused, and also  giving the principal reasons for the non-arrest of different categories of the total number of 1918 wanted accused, i.e. those 515 accused who are wanted for more than 10 years, the 606 accused in cases 10-5 years old, 597 accused in cases 5-3 years old, 300 accused in cases 3-1 years old and 200 accused in cases less than one year old, may be furnished in a tabular form.    

(c) Further progress report of the 1079 investigations pending with the CB CID must be given. The 100 investigations which are pending for over 10 years and the 167 investigations which are pending for 5-10 years (mentioned in the annexure to the earlier counter-affidavit by the Under-Secretary, Home dated 17.8.06) must now be concluded within 3 months if possible. The 93, and 197 investigations that are pending for 3-5 and 1-3 years respectively should be concluded within 5 months if possible, and 522 investigations which are pending for under a year should be concluded as far as possible within 6 months. The times we are prescribing are not unduly short, because normally under section 167 of the Code the period for concluding investigations (although for arrested accused) is ninety days in cases punishable with life or imprisonment over 10 years and sixty days in other cases. In case of failure to comply with these directions due explanation must be furnished to the Court.

(d) In case the arrests and investigations with respect to the different categories mentioned at (b) and (c) above cannot be completed within the period prescribed whose outer limit as we have spelled out above is six months, then in a phased manner and latest in 6 months where the investigations had been transferred to the CB CID at the instance of accused, on recommendation of ministers and other political functionaries, the investigation may be re-transferred to the local police with directions to conclude the investigation and to arrest the accused within a fixed time frame.

(e) Steps be taken for obtaining appropriate sanctions for prosecution in all the cases where it is needed and explanation be furnished for the delays in obtaining the sanctions.

(f) Steps should be taken for getting the stay of proceedings/orders of sanctions vacated from the High Court or other courts.

The status report may be submitted before this Court on the next date of listing.

List this case on 16.11.2006 for further orders.

A copy of the order may be furnished to the Government Advocate within 72 hours.

Dated: 15.9.2006

Ishrat


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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