[Editorial Analysis] Interference an investigating officer can do without

Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Judiciary
Mains level: Role of Judiciary

Context:

• In a democracy like India, the Executive must follow the Constitution.

• The bureaucracy, by the same logic, is answerable to the duly elected government. In a democratic country, it is this impregnable legal stance that keeps a check on police behaviour.

• We have witnessed how USA dealt with George Floyd case and trialled guilty police officer. The deaths of a 58-year-old father and his 31-year-old son in Sattankulam, Tamil Nadu, in June 2020, warrant further restrictions on police authority to pursue an established crime.

• I’m well aware that I’ll be in the minority if I ask for a kinder perspective of police behaviour and greater leeway in the normal operating protocols they follow, especially when they’re investigating a complex incident.

Supreme Courts’ Stance:

• The Supreme Court of India stated that courts do not have the ability to order an investigating officer to arrest any specific person linked to a crime.

• This viewpoint should be considered in light of a growing number of cases of subordinate judicial officers, and even High Courts, ordering the investigating officer to make an arrest of a person who has been identified as a suspect in the commission of a crime.

• The directive to police officers on arrests made during a criminal investigation is detrimental to officer morale and cuts to the heart of field policing.

• Court rulings that imply a lack of faith in police competence and honesty will make local cops even more arbitrary than they are today, forcing them to engage in questionable behaviour that will put doubt on an officer’s ability to think for himself.

• Interference — not intervention — by the court in the day-to-day investigation is not only unwelcome, but it is also illegal.

• With the exception of the Supreme Court, which the Constitution empowers with unquestionable authority and discretion, the lower courts should not issue orders regarding arrests and searches.

Role of FIR:

• We need to teach the Executive and the general public that a first information report is no longer considered a charitable deed to the injured complainant.

• Every police station in the country is required to file a complaint under the relevant provisions of a statute as soon as a cognisable offence is established in the complaint.

• To settle personal scores, the complaint could be false or frivolous. The most basic prerequisite, though, is registration.

• Another barrier against police wrongdoing exists. The CrPC requires the investigating officer to keep a daily journal detailing the actions taken following registration.

• If the content of such a diary demonstrates an individual’s complicity, the court can interrogate an investigating officer about his plans based on the evidence.

• In the eyes of the law, ordering an investigating officer to make an arrest before he has thoroughly examined the evidence is unsustainable.

Conclusion:

• To summarise, the blame for the police’s faults, particularly in the area of criminal investigation, completely on the shoulders of many senior officers who are waiting to be browbeaten by outsiders or seeking unethical ways to advance their careers.

———————————————

Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Which of the following types of rights is/are identified by Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (Forest Rights Act (FRA))?

1. Title rights

2. Use rights

3. Relief and development rights

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) All the above

Answer: D

Subscribe to Get Weekly updates

Get daily current affair video, detailed current affairs PPT for quick revision and Free One Liner PDF directly in your inbox. Subscribe now to get this month's one liner for FREE.