Decided on July 03,1997

STATE OF H.P. Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



A.L.VAIDYA, J. - (1.)The present petitioner is under judicial custody in a case arising out of FIR No. 364/96, dated 15 -11 -1996 of Police Station, Sadar, Shimla On 14 -11 -1996, late Sh. Harsh Baljee was alleged to have been murdered and the FIR was to that effect In the aforesaid case, the present petitioner was arrested on 11 -4 -1997. The investigation in the case has not yet concluded. Through the present petition, the following reliefs have been prayed for : (a) by an appropriate writ, order or direction transfer the investigation of the case arising out of FIR No. 364/96, P.S. Sadar, Shimla under sections 302/1204 -B, IPC read with section 25 and 27/54/59 of Arms Act, to the Central Bureau of Investigation ; (b) direct an enquiry/investigation into the conduct of the investigating agency in violating the mandate of the constitution as also statutory law while trampling upon the rights of the petitioner ; and (c) pass such other and further orders as this Honble Court may deem fit and proper.
(2.)Various averments have been made in the petition to base the aforesaid relief asked for, the main being that the petitioner was tortured, humiliated, brutalised and dehumanised to such an extent that it was difficult to narrate and put into words the trauma that the petitioner has been through at the hands of the Investigating Agency while he was in their custody and police has been interfering in the administration of justice With respect to the allegation of torure, para 6 of the petition is being reproduced hereunder for the sake of convenience : "Upon arrest, the petitioner who makes bold to say that he is innocent and has got nothing to do with the case arising out of FIR No. 364/96, nor has any knowledge or is acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case, was put through a most abusive process of investigation singularly deplored by the Supreme Court and constitutionally banned and prohibited by statutory law. The petitioner was tortured, humiliated, brutalised and dehumanised to such an extent that it is difficult to narrate and put into words the trauma that the petitioner has been through at the hands of the Investigating Agency while he was in their custody. To mention a few of the so -called scientific investigative methods adopted by the Invests gating Agency, the petitioner was brutalised to make him implicate himself, to fit a theory propounded by the Investigating Agency which is a figment of their imagination, the petitioner was at 8.30 p.m. on 11 -4 -1997 taken to Sadar Police Station, Shimla, where 8 -10 screaming, yelling, abusing police personnel descended on him throwing him on the ground in the courtyard and kicking and showering him with fists, blows and slaps They dragged the petitioner around while hurling abuses and appearing to have lost control of senses, Within 15 minutes of the first about of beating, the petitioner was taken to C.I.A. room where once again he was abused, pushed, kicked, slapped without even asking him any question and/or interrogating him on the subject for which the remand had been procured. There he was made to stand with his hands raised above his head, blind folded till 11 p.m. Whereafter he was put back into police lock -up. The following morning a fresh bout of abusing, beating once again started. The foul language used would hurt the ears of even the most seasoned policemen, let alone a gentleman like the petitioner. Here, again began the inquisition. The petitioners hands were tied behind his back with a wooden rod running across the arms and he was suspended from the ceiling till excruciating pain ran throughout the body, more so the shoulder blades and the arms. Here too, he was slapped, punched and for the first time told that he is bound to support the investigation theory, failing which what he had received was but a sample of the whole. Not being in a position to even comprehend what the Investigating Agency was trying to achieve by its brutality, the petitioner could not oblige and, therefore, had to be subjected to electric shocks en the finger tips, ear lobs, tongue which, besides causing anguish and pain, cut the tongue of the petitioner. What is surprising and shocking is that all this humiliation and novel methods of investigation adopted in the presence of the police officers who were simply enjoying the barbaric methods and encouraging the lower ranks to be less merciful. This continued throughout the day occasionally bringing the petitioner off the hook, but persisting in keeping the level of pain to an unbearable limit, as also ensuring that the petitioner does not mercifully become unconscious. He was not permitted to sleep 2/3 nights at a stretch and at regular intervals routinely assaulted, humiliated They repeatedly asked the petitioner to make the petitioner connecting himself to the crime and threatened to give electric shocks on his private parts ensuring him impotency. After a week of police bashing which the investigating officer termed as modern investigative methods, the personnel themselves being convinced of his innocence were helpless because of exigencies of duties which, according to them, demanded that they continue to adopt the beating session until the petitioner consented to give his signature on various documents The petitioner is here not mentioning the exact torture because it is so dehumanising and humiliating that to put to same on record would mean a continuous reminder to the petitioner of the ugliness and the abuse to which he was subjected and which would then haut him as a nightmare for the rest of his life. Suffice it to say that the petitioner was subject to what the Investigating Officer referred to as a He detecting test, he was injected and drugged with some substance which made him delirious and unconscious, yet after 14 days of custody, the investigating agency has got nothing of which should make them pround of their despicable behaviour and abuse of office. -
(3.)Regarding allegation of interference in the administration of justice, para 4 of the rejoinder is relevant which is reproduced hereunder : I say that Sh. Uppal who is trying to defend the Investigating Agency is unaware of the fact that the team investigating FIR No. 374/96 P.S. Shimla has stopped to the lowest ebb and has tried to influence the Judiciary by approaching the judicial offices dealing with the case of the petitioner. The embarassment of the Sessions Judge Shimla, was made known in the open court before hearing the Bail application of the petitioner on 9th June, 1997, the learned Sessions Judge remarked about how embarrassed he had felt when the Supdt of Police approached him on the pretext of paying a social call, met the learned Sessions Judge and showed him, what was purported to be a note written by the applicant to his wife, which the police claims to have intercepted, wherein certain remarks about the Judge were allegedly made causing embarrassment to the learned Sessions Judge This note was then, in the words of the Sessions Judge, shredded before him, so that it would not cause any embarrassment during investigation. Reply of the respondent to this allegation before the learned C.J.M. is : - "That the allegations in this para are cooked up and designed in such a manner that these tend to influence the investigation and are intended to get undue benefit No such remarks as alleged were made by the learned Sessions Judge. On the other hand he had in categorical terms, told the learned Counsel of the applicant that his client had embarrassed him by mentioning his name in one of the notes written by him to his wife. Therefore, the learned Sessions Judge had intimated the learned Counsel insisted the Sessions Judge to decide the application. It is pertinent to mention here that the Superintendent of Police had gone to pay as courtesy call to the learned Sessions Judge on his joining at Shimla as per convention and since the name of Sessions Judge figured in one of the torn notes intercepted by the Police purportedly written by the accused to his wife, the S.P. deemed it proper while leaving his chamber to apprise the Sessions Judge about it. There was nothing abnormal in such a social call which has nothing to do with the progress of the case but what the applicant wants to capitalize out of such a meeting is nothing but to cook up a food that appears to be tasty put virtually is obnoxious Here it is in all fairness made clear that there is no bad intention on the part of the Investigating Agency to, in any manner, influence the judicial mind in its functioning. On the other hand, it is deducible from the averments of the -applicant that he wanted to create some embarrassing situation for the investigating as well as the adjudicating process. Otherwise, there was no point for him to have insisted for hearing of bail application by the learned Sessions Judge. At this stage, it is made clear that the writing was of the accused as per the report of the hand writing expert Therefore, the allegations of the applicant are false to his knowledge and he is liable to be dealt with under relevant provisions of law." A complaint to the effect was filed before the Magistrate, under whose orders, the petitioner continues to be detained. A copy of the complaint is marked thereto as Annexure P -l. The petitioner submits that he views with great concern, the so called social calls made by the S.P. on Judicial Officers while trying to influence them to the prejudice, of the petitioner. This should also be indication enough, to this Honble Court, as to the degree of fairness of Investigating Agency and the desperate attempts made to prejudice the case of the petitioner at all forums. -

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