Gauhati HC Condemns ‘Bulldozer Action’ Against Accused & Claims its Against Criminal Law Procedure

Akansha Upadhyay

Published on: 19 November 2022 at 21:23 IST

The Gauhati High Court proceedings in connection with the incident where bulldozers were used to uproot the houses of some accused persons, the Court expressed its anguish over the act of the Superintendent of Police in flouting the procedure.

A division bench led by Chief Justice RM Chhaya pointing to the act of the SP, said: “Show me from any criminal jurisprudence that for investigating a crime, the police without any order, can uproot a person and apply a bulldozer.”

Rapping the authorities, the bench orally remarked “For this you require permission. You may be the SP of any district. Even IG, DIG, or whoever may be the highest authority has to pass through the gamut of law. Only because they head the police department, they cannot wreck anybody’s house. Nobody is safe in this country then if that is permitted.”

“Procedure has to be followed. One authority is throwing a burden on another authority. Who will represent the SP? What is your answer? Which law permits us to do this? Without prior permission of the Court, you can’t even have a search of somebody’s house,” the Chief Justice stated.

“With my limited career here in the bar, I have not come across any police officer using a bulldozer by way of a search warrant,” added Chief Justice Chayya.

The Counsel expressed that this was not the intention, to which Chief Justice responded by saying that “Intention may be anything. Ask your SP to find out a way out of this.”

On this Chief Justice added that, “Law and order – both these words are used together with a purpose. We are in a democratic se-up. That is enough to be told to you. Your DG may not be knowing also about this. Put this to the notice of higher-ups. SP will stick to his report to save his skin,”

The bench, also comprising Justice Soumitra Saikia, was hearing a suo motu case taken by it to the bulldozing of the houses of five men in Nagaon district who were accused of setting fire to the Batadrava Police Station in May this year.

At the request of the Senior Advocate seeking time to get instructions, the Court adjourned the further hearing in the matter to December 13.

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