Patna High Court: A. M. Badar, J., granted bail to the person arrested on the basis of forcefully extracted confession made during police custody. Expressing dismay over the audacity of the SHO to resort to third degree treatment to extract confession and mentioning the same in the FIR, the Bench reminded the officials concerned that the accused too have basic human rights and that should be protected at all cost.
The applicant had approached the Court for seeking bail in connection with offence punishable under Sections 30(a) as well as 41 of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 as he was allegedly in passion of about 835 litres of illicit liquor. The applicant had fairly stated that he has one criminal antecedent. The applicant contended that there was no iota of evidence against the applicant except confessional statement of the co-accused made in the FIR to police.
The Bench noticed that the FIR itself reflected sorry State of affairs in handling human rights by Bihar Police as the SHO had claimed that in raid effected on the basis of secret information, he apprehended the main accused, one Rajan Singh from the spot of the incident and from his premises, 835 litres of illicit liquor came to be seized. The Bench expressed,
“What hurts this Court after perusal of the FIR is recital in the FIR made by Prashant Kumar, Station House Officer to the effect that after taking over custody of main accused Rajan Singh, he had subjected said Rajan Singh to third degree treatment and made strict interrogation from him by using force.”
Noticeably, recitals in the FIR suggested that the main accused was subjected to torture, not while apprehending him but after taking his custody. The Bench stated, this is a matter of serious concern which requires cognizance by none else than the Director General of Police, Bihar State in the light of observations of the Supreme Court in catena of Judgment.
Opining that lesser said would be better in the instant case, the Bench referred to the case of D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, (1997) 1 SCC 416, wherein the Supreme Court had observed, “experience shows that worst violations of human rights take place during the course of investigation, when the police with a view to secure evidence or confession often resorts to third degree methods including torture and adopts techniques of screening arrest by either not recording the arrest or describing the deprivation of liberty merely as a prolonged interrogation” to remind the officials concerned of the human rights of the accused in custody of the Police.
Since the FIR suggested that after using full force, confession of main accused came to be extracted by the SHO, who had audacity to narrate the same in the FIR itself, the Bench rejected the confession as sections 24, 25 and 26 of the Evidence Act makes it clear that confession by an accused to police is of no consequence and it cannot even be looked out by the Court. Similarly, except the alleged confession, there was nothing to infer complicity of the applicant as nothing had been recovered from him. Expressing dismay over the inhuman and unlawful actions of the police, the Bench remarked,
“Giving third degree treatment to the apprehended accused and that too for extracting confession is the worst crime in a civilized society which can be committed by a Police officer and that is how the Judiciary is witnessing large number of custodial deaths caused by men in uniform.”
Considering the nature of the evidence against the applicant, the Bench opined that there was no other alternative but to release him on bail during pendency of the trial. Accordingly, the application was allowed and the applicant was directed to be released on bail on executing a bond of Rs. 15000. [Sanjay Singh v. State of Bihar, Criminal Miscellaneous No.54765 of 2021, decided on 26-11-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For the Petitioner/s: Mr.Gautam Kumar Yadav, Advocate
For the Opposite Party/s: Mr.Rana Randhir Singh, APP