Delhi HC Dismisses Plea By Accused In Jahangirpuri Riots Alleging Harassment By Police
A Bench of Justice Asha Menon of the Delhi High Court has held that the police have a duty to keep vigilance over the law-and-order situation and to prevent crimes. "If an offence is alleged to have been committed, it is its bounden duty to investigate into the offences and bring the offender to book" the Court said while dismissing the writ petition seeking to restrain police from harassing the petitioner.
The petitioner's eldest son was sent to judicial custody, on allegations of being involved in the Jahangir Puri riots. Advocate Bhoopendra Singh, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that police were coming to his residence under the cover of investigations and were subjecting the petitioner and his family to harassment.
He emphasized that the petitioner had the fundamental right to live with dignity and fearlessly and to that end prayed for issuance of an appropriate direction to the police not to harass the petitioner and his family members in the name of interrogation.
Countering this, the Additional Standing Counsel for the State, Rajesh Mahajan, submitted that the police were only investigating the Jahangir Puri Riots and stated that during investigations, a large number of people were identified indulging in rioting, wielding swords, waving and using firearms, pelting stones and glass bottles.
He further submitted that during the investigation, it was revealed that the petitioner was one of the main conspirators and perpetrators of the entire incident and was evading the process of law. The Additional Standing Counsel for the State also stated that in the garb of the present petition, the petitioner was actually seeking anticipatory bail, which was not permissible.
The Court while delivering judgement placed reliance on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of State of West Bengal and Ors. v. Sampat Lal and Ors. where it was held that functions of the Judiciary and Police are complementary and each must be allowed to exercise its own function, with due observance of law and order and a concern for individual liberty.
The Court observed that "Police are investigating the role of each person and they have found leads pointing out to the deep involvement of the petitioner."
"In these facts and circumstances, it is evident that the petitioner has moved this petition to thwart investigations. The court cannot allow itself to be used in such a fashion, which may lead to interference with the investigations, and which has been always frowned upon by the courts", the Court held further.
The Court noted that it does not appear to be a case in which the police have contacted the petitioner and his family only with ill motives to harass them. The court held that as a citizen of this country, it is only to be expected that while the petitioner seeks enforcement of his Fundamental Rights, he would also do his duties and help the police resolve the crime and apprehend the perpetrators.
"As rightly pointed out by the learned ASC for the State, this petition appears to be of a phishing kind, seeking anticipatory bail, in the garb of directions to the police not to harass the petitioner and his family" the Court observed before dismissing the petition.