Local court has come down heavily on the Panchkula police for registration of a first information report (FIR) before the occurrence of crime.
The court of additional district and sessions judge Amit Kumar Sharma had recently acquitted Lal Singh, 24, and Shankar Dass, 23, of the charges of making preparation to commit dacoity, assembling for purpose of dacoity and Arms Act.
On a tip-off, inspector Chatar Singh, who was then posted with Crime Investigation Agency (CIA), had arrested the duo on April 6, 2013. It was alleged that the accused were overheard by the police while making a plan to loot a cashier of a factory. After the trial, the court acquitted them.
The court observed that, "…it is to be taken that FIR had already been disbursed to area magistrate and Panchkula DCP even before the FIR was registered against the accused and before raiding and apprehending the accused from the alleged place of crime".
It added, "The fact of registration of FIR prior to occurrence assumes significance in view of enmity of some of the police officials with the accused."
On the recovery of country-made pistol, the court observed that there was cutting and overwriting on recovery documents. "…the prosecution could not connect the pistol allegedly got recovered in pursuance of confessional statement suffered by accused Shanker Dass with the documents prepared by the police after the recovery," said the judgment and added that the sketch of the pistol produced by the prosecution did not match with that provided to the accused under section 208 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Regarding arrest of Shanker from Haridwar, the judgment said, "It is very strange and does not appeal to common sense that the police did not find any independent witness from the place where the accused Shanker was apprehended. Har-Ki-Pori is a busy and religious place and it is very strange that the police did not get any person who could have been joined at the time of apprehending accused Shanker."
The court observed that sub-inspector Lakshmi Chand had admitted that he had heard the conversation of accused about their plan but it was not clear. "He could not understand exactly what they were talking about. If it was so, it cannot be said that the accused, even if it is to be believed that the prosecution is correct, had assembled only for the purpose of committing dacoity and no other offence."
The court observed that Lakshmi Chand was in touch with the accused on phone before registration of FIR.
"Theory of receiving secret information and apprehending the accused from the park cannot be sustained," concluded the court.
Shanker had also approached high court before the registration of FIR where he had pleaded danger to his life from Panchkula policemen.