The Delhi High Court dismissed the issuance of bailable warrants against the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (Crime).

The Court emphasized that the delay in obtaining Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) reports does not imply negligence on the part of the Police Authorities.

The Court noted that the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) is an independent body, beyond the control or supervision of the Delhi Police, precluding officers from expediting the reports.

Even on merits, delay in obtaining FSL reports in a timely manner would not tantamount to negligence on behalf of the Police Authorities. It needs no reiteration that FSL is an independent body and in no way under the control or supervision of the Delhi Police. Therefore, it is not in the hands of Delhi Police to obtain reports from FSL in an expeditious manner”, the Bench of Justice Amit Bansal observed.

Additional Standing Counsel Sanjeev Bhandari appeared for the State.

The Petitioner approached the High Court seeking to quash the orders issued by the Special Judge (NDPS). The orders pertained to observations made and bailable warrants issued against the Petitioner, DCP (Crime). The chargesheet in the case was filed without the FSL report, leading to the judge summoning police officials for non-compliance. On August 2, 2023, bailable warrants were issued against the DCP (Crime), prompting the Petition.

The Court noted that the delay in obtaining FSL reports isn't considered negligence on the part of the Police Authorities, given that the FSL operates independently of Delhi Police control. The only recourse for Delhi Police officials is to request timely reports, which has been done in this case. The Court criticized the summoning of senior Police officials by the Judge, as it hampers their regular work.

Calling of such senior Police Officials in Court would mean that they are not able to tend to their regular work. In order to attend Court hearing, they would have to leave their work assignments”, the Bench added.

The Bench observed, in the case, that the Judge went beyond summoning senior Police Officials and issued bailable warrants for the DCP (crime) due to non-appearance, despite a duly filed application explaining the reasons for the absence. The Judge disregarded the application, proceeding with routine issuance of warrants, a course of action considered entirely untenable.

Furthermore, the Court noted that the routine issuance of bailable warrants adversely affects the reputation of high-ranking Police Officials and raises concerns about their service records, emphasizing the need for judicial restraint. The Judge's directives for the personal presence of IO/SHO/ACP/DCP and the issuance of bailable warrants against the DCP (Crime) in this case were considered unjustified and lacked legal authority.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Petition and set aside the directions for the issuance of bailable warrants.

Cause Title: State (NCT Of Delhi) v Shadab (2023:DHC:9287)

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