The information provided by the police department under the RTI Act regarding the cases that have fallen flat in the Panchkula district courts revealed that how shoddy investigations resulted in acquittals of several accused.
HT filed the RTI and went through the opinions from January 1, 2013, to March 18, 2014, given by district attorney’s office and also of deputy district attorney who is associated with the police department. Though in number of cases, the opinion from public prosecutors has not been provided.
There are cases where the investigation has been so poor that they are not even fit for filing appeal in the high court.
SOME OF THE CASES WHICH FELL FLAT
1. State Vs Ravinder registered for robbery, causing hurt during robbery, attempt to commit dacoity/ robbery when armed with deadly weapon, sodomy, disappearance of evidence, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy at Chandimandir police station on September 21, 2013.
In this case, the accused allegedly looted the victim and also sodomised him. The court on January 29 acquitted the accused.
On the case file, deputy district attorney Gurpal Singh opined on the reasons of acquittal that the police did not take “semen sample” of the accused for “comparison” with that of found on the victim’s underwear by the police, no inventory of currency notes were prepared and “no [sic] any independent witness was joined at the time of recovery of currency notes”.
2. State Vs Sachin Sonkar registered under the NDPS ( Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act at Kalka police station on October 8, 2012.
In this case, deputy district attorney Narinder Singh pointed out the acquittal took place on December 2, 2013, as there “are major contradictions in the statements of the station house officer (SHO) and IO (investigating officer).
As per the SHO, he had not visited the place of recovery and as per the IO, the SHO had come along with his staff to the spot where the accused was apprehended. Thus creating doubt on the testimony of the investigating officer [sic].
The attorney also pointed out that the IO did not join any independent witness though place of recovery was surrounded by shops and a petrol pump. “Thus creating doubt over the investigation.”
The attorney opined that the FSL form was not filled on the spot at the time of recovery, contrary to provisions and the SHO contradicted his own testimony.
“Moreover the delay in sending the sample 11 days after the recovery contrary to the rules wherein the sample had to be sent within 72 hours of seizure also proved fatal to the prosecution case.”
3. State Vs Dharminder alias Kali Charan registered under the Arms Act and for attempt to commit dacoity while armed with deadly weapon at sector 14 police station on April 26, 2013. The acquittal took place on October 16, 2013.
The deputy district attorney on the reasons of acquittal opined that in the present case, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Raj Kumar himself detected the offence, lodged FIR, investigated the crime and had given the evidence as a witness. “It is a well established law that the complainant cannot investigate the case.”
He also added that independent witness did not see accused armed with any deadly weapon and also “no prudent person would dare to make preparation to commit robbery or dacoity at a place situated at a distance of 10 feet from the liquor vend and is a very busy place”.
Also, in the same case deputy district attorney Gurpal Singh opined that rough sketch and scaled site plan pre pared by the IO do not correspond to the place where the accused were allegedly apprehended.
4. State Vs Veer Singh and others registered for theft of copper wire and under the Electricity Act registered on January 18, 2012. All got acquitted on October 4, 2013.
Deputy district attorney Manoj Kumar opined that no independent witness was joined while conducting raid and it was highly improbable that the accused would keep the stolen copper wire for a period of 1 year without disposing it.
5. State Vs Jasbir Singh registered under the NDPS Act at Pinjore police station on September 6, 2012. On October 15, 2013, all accused were acquitted. Then assistant district attorney Amarjit Singh opined that recovery of over 25-kg poppy husk was doubtful as police personnel differed in their statements on the number of seals on samples. He added also there was delay of four days in sending the sample to forensic science laboratory (FSL) and no independent witness was joined at the time of recovery.
On further perusal of the file, the deputy district attorney of the police department opined that the ownership of the house from where the alleged contraband was recovered was not verified and it was not proved that the accused is in exclusive possession of the house.
6. State Vs Dharam Raj and others registered under Arms Act and for preparation to commit dacoity and assembling to commit dacoity on February 6, 2013, at Pinjore police station. The accused were acquitted on November 2, 2013.
The story was based on the fact that it was heard that accused were preparing a plan of dacoity. Deputy district attorney Manoj Kumar opined that story of the police was improbable as it is highly impossible for any person to heat the discussion of the accused outside the room and no independent witness was joined in investigation.
7. State Vs Lajwanti was registered under the Electricity Act at Pinjore police station on May 1, 2012. Lajwanti was acquitted on June 5, 2013. As per the opinion of deputy district attorney, the wire which was used in committing theft of power could not be recovered by the police, no independent witness was joined in raid and also there is no identification on the meter or wire produced in the court.