P&H HC Suspends Wages of Prosecutor, IO for Failing to Handle POCSO Case Trial Fairly

punjab and haryana high court Law Insider

Tanisha Rana

Published on: September 19, 2022 at 21:59 IST

The Punjab & Haryana High Court recently suspended the wages of an Investigating Officer (IO) and a Public Prosecutor for failing to successfully prosecute a case filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012 [Bunty vs. Punjab State].

According to Justice Rajbir Sehrawat, coercive measures must be implemented to force the prosecutor and the IO to finish the trial as soon as feasible because they failed to carry out their duty promptly.

On or before October 15, when the issue will be heard again, the Director (Prosecution), Punjab, and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Hoshiarpur, have been ordered to submit reports detailing the suspension of these two officers’ pay.

Until all of the prosecution’s witnesses in the case have been questioned, the pay will remain unchanged.

A bail application for an accused who had served more than four years in prison was being heard by the Bench. It was frustrating to learn that only the victim had been inspected thus far, and even then, only partially.

The prosecution’s poor handling of the trial, particularly in light of the case’s circumstances, led the court to rule that the petitioner cannot be kept behind bars.

“The liberty of the applicant cannot be jeopardized by casualness of the prosecution, particularly, when the allegations are that the prosecutrix had gone with him and remained with him for full one week; during which she visited several places and stayed in Hotels.”

“Even if he is guilty, that has to be so held by a court of law by conducting trial in right earnest and due promptitude,” the Bench underscored.

The court also stated that the prosecution had utterly failed in fulfilling its obligation, hence it decided to give the petitioner bail.

“At this stage, the applicant is not required for any investigation purpose. He cannot be forced to suffer incarceration without any effective proceedings being conducted against him by the Court.”

For the applicant, attorney Gurpreet Singh made an appearance.

Sandeep, Additional Advocate General, spoke on behalf of the State.

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