HC notice to DGPs of Chandigarh, Punjab over cancellation reports
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday put director generals of police (DGPs) of Punjab and Chandigarh on notice on a plea seeking constitution of special teams in all police districts for ensuring filing of cancellation reports/untraced reports before the courts.
The high court bench of chief justice Krishna Murari and justice Arun Palli has sought response by December 4.
The petitioner lawyer, HC Arora, had stated that under Section 173 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the station house officers of the police station concerned has to file a report in the court of magistrate concerned “as soon as the investigation is completed”. However, in Punjab, a large number of cancellation reports or untraced reports, although prepared and got approved from senior police officers several years ago, are yet not presented in the court.
Arora told court that in the Moga police district alone, at least 76 such cancellation reports, which were prepared and approved more than a decade ago, have yet not been presented in the court, resultantly criminal proceedings are deemed to be pending against the accused despite being found innocent during investigation.
“The sword of Damocles is thus hanging over such innocent persons as police can always reopen investigation under one pretext or the other. Such practice on the part of police also breeds corruption,” the court was told, adding that otherwise too, such innocent citizens get a shock when on crucial occasions, like applying for government job, or a passport, or an armed licence, they suddenly come to know that some FIR, filed against them about 10-15 years ago, which was cancelled by police, was still technically pending, as the closure report had not been submitted by the SHO in the court of concerned magistrate.
Arora also referred to information received by him under the RTI Act from police station, Sector 19, Chandigarh, stating that it does not have record as to what happened after forwarding cancellation/untraced reports to senior police officers, and it cannot be said whether those reports have ever been presented in the concerned court or not. Thus, the system of investigation is suffering from serious infirmity.