Lawyers on Friday came out in support of the police inquiry report, which recommends departmental and administrative action against police officers responsible for the arrests of Shaheen Dhada, 21, and Rinu Srinivasan, 20.
YP Singh, former IPS officer and now a high court lawyer,
said the report submitted by Sukhwant Singh, inspector general of police (IG), Konkan range, could have been tougher.
"The indicted officers should be booked for wrongful confinement and contempt of court," he said, adding that according to a Supreme Court ruling in the case of DK Basu, if the guidelines for arrests are violated, high courts can take action against officers under the Contempt of Courts Act.
"Departmental action can only be a part of the action; the policemen might even be let off with a warning. So stricter action is necessary," Singh said.
Majid Memon, a leading criminal lawyer, said the indicted police officers have breached the law themselves.
"Firstly, the law forbids that women be brought to the police station after sunset. This was breached. Secondly, when a person lodges a complaint, the police ought to carefully examine the contents and ensure whether any offence is made out before taking cognisance or registering an FIR. They did not do that," he said.
Memon said the officers had breached the SC mandate given during the by judicial pronouncement in the Jogendra Kumar vs state of Uttar Pradesh (1994) case and again in the Sidhdhram Mhetre vs state of Maharashtra (2011) case, policemen should not rush to arrest a citizen just because a crime is registered against him or her.
"In this case, the least the policemen were expected to do was to have consulted a legal officer or a public prosecutor for guidance. It is because of all these breaches that there has been miscarriage of justice and such a major controversy. The IG is justified in soliciting action against the erring policemen," Memon said.
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