Special Police Officer as mandated by S. 13(2) of Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 cannot be below the rank of Inspector of Police

Karnataka High Court: While deciding a criminal petition filed under Section 482 of CrPC, a Single Judge Bench comprising of Aravind Kumar, J. allowed the petition and quashed the proceedings pending against the petitioner on the file of Civil Judge.

A case was registered against the petitioner for the offences punishable under Sections 3(2B), 5(1), 5(D) 4 and 7 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the filing of charge-sheet and conducting of investigation was by a person who was not competent to do so under the ITP Act, and such the proceedings against the petitioner may be quashed.

The High Court perused the record and submissions made by the parties and found that the charge-sheet was filed by a Sub-Inspector of Police. However, as per the mandate of Section 13(2) of the said Act, a ‘Special Police Officer’ cannot be below the rank of Inspector of Police. The Court was of the view that where the investigation had been conducted, completed and concluded by an officer who was not competent to do so, such proceedings were liable to be quashed.

Accordingly, the petition was allowed, the proceedings pending against the petitioner were quashed, and he was acquitted of the offences punishable under the abovesaid sections. [Rajeev K. v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No. 6124 of 2017, order dated 16.10.2017]

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