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HC makes it mandatory for SPs to scrutinise FIRs, probe reports

Special Correspondent
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‘Fix guidelines and protocol for investigation officers’

Superintendents of police (SPs), additional SPs and deputy SPs will now have to diligently scrutinise the first information reports (FIR) and the reports of the investigation as the Karnataka High Court on Friday made such a procedure mandatory to check infirmities in the process of registration of a case and its investigation.

The court also directed the Home Secretary and the State police chief to fix guidelines and protocol for the procedure to be adopted during investigation, and launch both disciplinary and criminal actions against investigation officers who violate the protocol.

The direction was issued after Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachau got a first-hand experience on defective methods adopted by the police while registering complaints when he spent an hour witnessing the court proceedings along with State Public Prosecutor S. Dore Raju. The court had earlier issued a direction to the DGP to be present in the court.

Justice K. Sreedhar Rao, while bringing to the notice of the DGP many instances of infirmities in the FIRs enclosed with bail petitions, said that while the SPs would have to scrutinise the FIRs and investigation reports in the cases triable by the sessions court, the additional SPs and the deputy SPs should scrutinise them in other cases.

Meanwhile, the court orally told Mr. Pachau that sending FIRs and charge sheets for scrutiny to higher officer might not be difficult as it could be done by e-mail.

Pointing out that in one case, from Chennagiri, the police had invoked the provision of dacoity based on a statement given by the complainant four months after the registration of the FIR, the court said that such an action raises suspicion, and many a time this type of change was made in the FIR either to manipulate the case to favour the accused or to falsely implicate the accused.

The court said the case diaries will have to be verified and signed by the SPs, additional SPs and deputy SPs.

‘Nobody is safe’

While going through the statistics submitted by Mr. Dore Raju on robbery and dacoity cases registered during past five years in the State, the court stressed the need for having effective policing in Bangalore city as the number of these two criminal activities had gone up in the city and their number remained consistent.

“Nobody will be safe in the city with such a number of robberies and dacoities,” Mr. Justice Rao observed orally while pointing out that the city registered around 700 cases of robbery and around 300 cases of dacoity every year from 2008 to 2012, the highest among all the cities and districts in the State.

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