Police officers be punished on acquittal of accused : Supreme Court
Supreme court on 7th January 2017, passed a revolutionary and path breaking judgment in the case of State of Gujarat vs Kishanbhai, by directing the Home Department of every State Government, to formulate a procedural mechanism that would ensure that cause of justice is served and that would simultaneously ensure the safeguard of interest of those who are innocent.
Supreme Court analyzing the misery an innocent has to go through when he is was wrongfully prosecuted suggested the Home Department of every State, to examine all orders of acquittal and to record reasons for the failure of each prosecution case. The apex court stated that a standing committee of senior officers of the police and prosecution departments should be vested with above responsibility. The court added that they are formed for crystalizing mistakes committed during investigation, and/or prosecution, or both.
Adding further, the SC directed the Home Department of every State Government to incorporate in its existing training programmes for junior investigation/prosecution officials course- content drawn from the above consideration. Judgments like the present one (depicting more than 10 glaring lapses in the investigation/prosecution of the case), and similar other judgments, may also be added to the training programmes.
The court also added that on reviewing a criminal case acquittal, the concerned investigating/prosecuting official(s) responsible for such acquittal must necessarily be identified. A finding needs to be recorded in each case, whether the lapse was innocent or blameworthy. Each erring officer must suffer the consequences of his lapse, by appropriate departmental action, whenever called for. Taking into consideration the seriousness of the matter, the concerned official may be withdrawn from investigative responsibilities, permanently or temporarily, depending purely on his culpability.
Giving a dead line of a maximum period of 6 month, the apex court asked the concerned official to work upon the subject immediately.
Giving a landmark and revolutionary judgment of the era, the Supreme Court has passed a judgment that will help the innocent from being wrongly framed. A lot of times it has been seen that the police has framed an innocent man wrongfully, leading to a hampered justice delivery system. With these directions to the Home Department, the officials will be vigilant and observant not to frame an innocent person.
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