The Supreme Court has quashed the conviction of two policemen sentenced to six months imprisonment for "contempt" in a case of custodial violence in which the whereabouts of the victim is not known till date.
The apex court quashed the conviction on the ground that principles of natural justice and rules relating to contempt proceedings were not followed by the Allahabad High Court which it said had also taken an erroneous presumption that Tej Veer Singh, a businessman, was dead as the cops could not explain his whereabouts.
The alleged contemners -- constables Sahdeo Singh and Liladhar -- were earlier sentenced to six months in jail by the High Court after it came to the conclusion that the duo along with SI Deep Chand (Sector 24, Noida police station) and some other policemen abducted Tej Veer alias Pappu on May 29, 1997 while he was travelling by the Prayagrag Express.
The high court held them guilty of contempt on the basis of the District and Sessions judge's report as they did not comply with the guidelines framed by the Supreme Court in D K Basu case (1985) that family members of a person detained or arrested should be informed about such a step. It had also asked the state government to terminate the services of the two constables.
Sub-Inspector Deep Chand, the main accused, had died during the pendency of the contempt case, hence the case abated against him.