Karnataka High Court: In a case where an arrest was made wrongfully because the name of the father of the arrested person was similar to the name of the person named in the warrant, Suraj Govindaraj, J. directed Director General of Police to issue suitable Guidelines and/or Standard Operating Procedure as to what are the steps to be taken by the arresting officer before arresting a person including the verification of identity.
The company application was filed under Rules 6 and 9 of Companies (Court) Rules, 1959 for dropping the proceedings against N.G.N. Raju s/o Ningegowda on the grounds that he is not the Ex-Director of the Company in liquidation as on verification it was found that the applicant in the application is not Raju N.G.N., who is the Ex- Director of the Company in liquidation. The only reason why the applicant had been arrested is that the name of his father was similar to the name of the person named in the warrant.
The Court noted that even though the arrestee had disputed the applicability of the warrant to him, his identification was not cross-checked and verified resulting in an innocent person being arrested. Thus, by arresting a person whose arrest was not authorized there is a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The Court observed that if Guidelines or Standard Operating Procedure are already issued to cater to this situation, training in this regard to be provided to all arresting officers.
However, in case it is not issued, the Court directed the Director General of Police to issue suitable Guidelines and/or Standard Operating Procedure as to what are the steps to be taken by the arresting officer before arresting a person including the verification of identity. The same to be issued within 4 weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of this order.
The Court, considering that the arrestee was put to loss of liberty and reputation, directed the State to pay Rs 5 lakhs as compensation which is to be paid within 8 weeks from the date of order.
[Ningaraju v. Official Liquidator of India Holiday (Pvt) Ltd., Company Application No 96 of 2022, decided on 07-07-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
K S Mahadevan, Advocate, for the Applicant;
K Ananda, Advocate, for the Respondent.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.