The Bombay high court on Tuesday said it was time that the state government took “immediate” and “urgent” steps to introduce advanced methods and technology to assist probes in serious offences such as murder. It also asked the state government to ensure that the investigating officers handling such cases are skilled to do so.
A bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice Nutan Sardessai said “every other criminal case investigated by the state police ended up in acquittal or reached a dead end” mainly because the state police was overburdened and inept.
“So many important cases reach a dead end due to a shoddy probe. The police are engaged only in bandobast duty these days. They are not trained to handle murder cases where a thorough investigation is required,” the bench said.
“We need trained investigating officers. If investigation in serious offences is conducted by a constable who has not even passed matriculation, it is obvious that the probe will reach a dead end or result in an acquittal,” it said.
The observations came while the bench was hearing a plea filed by Ashwini Rane, wife of Pune-based builder Nikhil Rane who was shot in 2009.
Ashwini had moved the high court in 2011, seeking a CBI probe into the murder. Although the CBI took over the case then, it is yet to file a charge sheet.
“Even in the recent cases where RTI activists have been murdered, the local police have failed to make headway and the CBI has to be roped in. The only trick used by the police is arrest someone and force a confession from him or her. But then the case does not stand during the trial,” the bench said.
“We have reached a stage where the police themselves need protection as they are attacked by citizens. Recently, a traffic constable lost his life after he was assaulted by someone on the road,” it said.
The bench has asked the CBI to file a reply and also invited suggestions on ways to improve the state police mechanism.
It is likely to take up the matter for further hearing after two weeks.