Gauhati HC Ordered to Determine Police Personal Fit for Investigating Officer Post

Itanagar Bench of Gauhati HC Law Insider

Aastha Thakur

Published on: August 28, 2022 at 19:42 IST

The Gauhati High Court ordered the Director General of Police, Arunachal Pradesh, to carry out a through exercise and identify those police officers who, based on their experience, perception, and qualification, would be suitable for the purpose of performing the duties of an investigating officer within the police  force.

Depending on the number of criminal cases to be investigated in the State as a whole, as well as in regard  to the specific police stations,  the DGP decide how many of these individuals officer within the police force.

It can be considered to post more than one investigating officer in individual police stations if there is a higher load of criminal investigations to be conducted in those police stations.

It can also be considered to post one investigating officer to cover multiple police stations in other police stations where there is a lower load of criminal investigations to be conducted, again depending on the geographic location.

The investigation wing in the Arunachal Pradesh police should be separated so that the police personnel in the investigation wing are only tasked with the duties of investigating criminal offences and are not made a part of the general duties of the police force, according to a PIL heard by Itanagar Bench of Justice AM Bujor Barua and Justice Devashis Baruah. The said PIL was filed by an attorney named Gamken Bam.

The court noted that on numerous occasions, the accused were exonerated only because certain fundamental requirements during the investigation were not met. If these requirements had been met, the accused might have been more directly connected to the crime that was committed and thus more likely to be found guilty.

Furthermore the Bench observer that a proper investigation done in a more scientific method by taking note of the requirements of the law relating to the offence for which the investigation is made, would make it more conducive at the trial to prove it beyond reasonable doubt that the accused alone had committed the offence.

The Court believes that the matter presented in the PIL warrants careful examination in the interest of the general public. An accused should not be required to be acquitted merely because the evidence that could have been obtained with a more thorough investigation was not able to be obtained to be used in the trial that would have led to the accused’s acquittal.

This is similar to the situation where an accused is required to be found guilty without having materials on record to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused alone had committed the alleged crime.

According to information provided to the court, the State of Arunachal Pradesh does not have a Police Complaint Authority. In light of this information and the need for one, this public interest litigation petition also asks the court to order the respondent authorities to establish a Police Complaint Authority.

The High Court believes that, after taking the full case into account, it is in the public interest of the State of Arunachal Pradesh to take urgent and decisive action to separate the investigative branch of the police force from the rest of the force.

The High Court observed that there would likely be numerous police officers in the State of Arunachal Pradesh who may have the necessary training as well as better awareness of the need for conducting an inquiry.

As a result, the High Court has ordered the Director General of Police in Arunachal Pradesh to submit a list of police officers who would be qualified for assignment to the investigative wing for the aforementioned purpose on the following returnable date.

The Bench further instructed that after the list of police officers who are qualified to conduct investigations is given to the Court, additional steps should be taken to provide the necessary training to those officers regarding the complexities and requirements of conducting investigations as well as to take the necessary administrative measures for carrying out the necessary.

The order stated as, “As regards the establishment of Police Complaint Authority, the notification dated 18.12.2006 be carried forward and be brought to its logical end and for the purpose a direction is issued to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Arunachal Pradesh to carry forward and bring the requirement of the notification dated 18.12.2006 to its logical end and ensure that the Police Complaint Authority both at the State Level and at the District Level are being made operational and functional through the appropriate authorities qualified for the purpose”


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