Allahabad HC directs Commissioner to take suitable action against Police personnel involved in custodial violence of boy arrested for obstructing traffic

allahabad high court

Allahabad High Court: In a criminal miscellaneous writ petition filed by the boy for being beaten up by the police due to a minor issue of roadside parking, the division bench of Sangeeta Chandra and Narendra Kumar Johari, JJ said that there is an expectation that the Commissioner will take suitable action against all Police personnel found involved in custodial violence. Further, the Court directed him to take corrective measures with regard to the report of CCTV cameras not working in the Police Station concerned also and submit his report by the next date of listing.

In its earlier order dated 27-07-2023, the Court was not convinced of the injuries, as bruises do not appear to be caused due to grazing of skin on the road, therefore, the Court had directed medical examination of the victim.

Also Read: Allahabad High Court directs medical examination of boy beaten up by police for obstructing traffic

After perusing the medical report, the Court noted that the examination of injuries of the petitioner has been done and the opinion expressed regarding the cause of injury is physical assault.

The Court said that all the Police personnel’s have narrated the same story of the petitioner parking his motorcycle in the middle of the road. When the petitioner was asked by the Police Personnel to remove his motorcycle, the petitioner started misbehaving with Lady Constable, so she called the Police personnel on duty. The photograph of the motorcycle standing in the middle of the road was taken for the purpose of challan and the petitioner was asked to hand-over the keys of the motorcycle, which he did not handover and threw them far away which landed on the roof of a tea stall. The Police tried to forcibly pick up the petitioner from the middle of the road and put him in the Police vehicle and, during such attempt, petitioner suffered injuries on his legs.

After taking note of the enquiry report, the Court noted that two Constables were present in civil dress in the Police Station, and they had taken out the petitioner for five minutes to some other place away from the lock-up. They could not explain why they took the petitioner out from the lock-up and what they did to him in those five minutes. They could not explain as to what they were doing in civil dress in the Police Station concerned.

The Court further noted that the Additional Commissioner Police (‘ACP’) has examined the mobile recordings and video recordings of the entire incident which were collected through independent witnesses and by the Police personnel. Further, he opined that there was an altercation between the Police personnel and the petitioner regarding the parking of his motorcycle which led to Police personnel forcibly taking him in their vehicle to the Police Station concerned. Further, as the petitioner was sitting on Dharna on the road, the police forcibly took him in the Police vehicle, which resulted in an injury caused on his legs due to friction.

The Court was not satisfied with the opinion expressed by the ACP, as there are two medical reports which clearly show that injuries were caused on the petitioner by a hard and blunt object and was a result of physical assault. The two constables could not explain as to why they had taken out the petitioner for five minutes, but the ACP has not expressed any opinion about the possibility of these two Constables beating up the petitioner. He has only stated that it was not proper for them to have taken out the petitioner.

After perusing the enquiry report, the Court noted that the bullet cameras have not been working in the Police Station concerned. Further, regarding this a matter of great concern, the Court said that, despite the orders of the Director General of Police that all the Police Stations be covered by CCTV cameras, this is the second incident in the capital city of the State. where the Police have informed the Court that the cameras were not working at the relevant point of time and have not been working for quite some time.

After examining the colored photographs of the petitioner’s injuries, the Court was not convinced with the version of the Police personnel, that such injuries / bruises on the skin occurred due to friction on the road when the Police personnel tried to pick up the petitioner and put him in the police vehicle. Further, it said that friction cannot cause contusion as has been reported by the two Medical Officers.

The Court opined that the Commissioner of Police in his covering letter has already proposed disciplinary action against the Sub Inspector and Incharge Inspector. However, the Commissioner has not stated as to what he proposes to do with the two Constables, who have been accused of custodial violence by the petitioner in his statement. They were only transferred to the Police Line.

Thus, the Court directed to implead the two constables as respondents to grant them an opportunity of hearing, and to issue appropriate directions to the Commissioner of Police to take action against them.

The matter will next be taken up on 20-09-2023.

[Rajat Bajpai v State of UP 2023 SCC OnLine All 707, Order dated 17-08-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case:

Counsel for Petitioner: Advocate Bajpai, Advocate Abhishek Yadav, Advocate Anand Mani Tripathi, Advocate Harsh Tripathi, Advocate Manoj Kumar Mishra, Advocate Ravindra Bajpai;

Counsel for Respondent: Chief Standing Counsel.

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