HC expunges remarks against DySP by Trial Court


Jammu, Jul 4: In a petition filed by DySP Sunny Gupta seeking expunging of adverse disparaging remarks/observations and directions passed by the trial Court in its order dated 02.06.202.
Justice Mohan Lal of Jammu & Kashmir High Court after hearing Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi with Lawanya Sharma for the petitioner, while allowing the petition, observed that the limited controversy before the Trial Court was to pass an order regarding the charge/discharge of the accused persons on the strength of the material collected by the investigating agency during investigation. The petitioner as I/O of the case, in his best wisdom, has collected all the material/evidence during the investigation conducted by him and has placed all the relevant evidence before the Trial Court in the form of charge sheet. It was the duty of the Trial Court to evaluate/assess the entire evidence on the record and to prima-facie come to conclusion whether accused persons can be prima-facie charged/dischar-ged for commission of offences indicted against them in the charge sheet. Having regard to the limited controversy of passing an order regarding charge/discharge of accused persons in the case in hand, it was not at all necessary for the trial Court to have passed/ recorded such harsh/disparaging remarks against the petitioner (being I/O of the case) in his impugned order dated 02-06-2021 in paras 8&9 of the order and even the trial court has not afforded opportunity of explaining or defending the petitioner himself. As discussed above, law is no longer res-integra that the harsh or disparaging remarks are not to be made against the persons and authorities whose conduct comes into consideration before the courts unless heard. It is the settled practice of the courts to observe sobriety, moderation and reserve. It is reminded that the higher the forum and greater the powers, the greater is the need for restraint and the more mellowed the reproach should be. Judicial restraint and discipline are as necessary to the orderly administration of justice. The duty of restraint is humility of function and should be a constant theme of our Judges. The judicial restraint might better be called judicial respect. The Judge's Bench is a seat of power and has absolute and unchallengeable control of the court domain, but they cannot misuse their authority by intemperate comments, undignified banter or scathing criticism of counsel, parties or witnesses. It is the general principle of highest importance to the proper administration of justice that derogatory remarks are not to be made against persons unless absolutely necessary for decision of the case to animadvert on their conduct. In the case in hand, the trial judge was to pass/ record an order on the charge/discharge of the accused persons, and it was not absolutely necessary for him that the conduct of petitioner was necessary for the decision of charge/discharge of accused.
With these observations, High Court directed that the derogatory remarks made/recorded against the petitioner set out at pages 15, 16 & 17 & in paras 8 & 9 to stand expunged from impugned order dated 02.06.2021 under challenge.
The petitioner Sunny Gupta has challenged the the order impugned of framing of charges dated 02.06.2021 the Trial Court proceeded to record his observation and dissatisfaction against the I/O/petitioner whereby the trial Court at page No. 15 of the impugned order, has recorded that investigation of the case has been conducted in very perfunctory and unprofessional manner, number of persons have been roped in the present case but during investigation I/O/petitioner has conducted the investigation in a lethargic and sluggish manner and has not taken even a little pain to search for the evidence in the present case, much better investigation could be conducted by even a Head Constable in comparison to I/O; on Page 16 of the impugned order, Ld. Trial Court has further recorded that the I/o has not bothered to seize the mobile phones of any of the accused persons as well has not taken any pain to collect the CDRs of their mobile phones and their connectivity with the categorized terrorists, besides, thus, learned trial Court has further observed that how the petitioner has qualified the administrative examination of the State and became Dy. S.P in the police department, petitioner/I/O has arrayed accused Mohd. Ramzan as one of the accused in the present case but the said accused was in judicial custody in another case FIR No. 268/2019 at the time when FIR No. 01/2020 was registered, trial Court has further proceeded to hold the I/O while conducting the investigation in FIR No. 268/2019 acted in the same manner and has demolished the said case, due to sheer incompetency and negligence, the Court was forced to discharged some of the accused persons in FIR No. 268/2019, by the impugned order dated 02.06.2021 the ld. trial Court proceeded to recommend that a departmental enquiry should be initiated against the petitioner whereby he should be asked that why and under what circumstances he has not collected the real evidence in the case and left over the important aspects, the trial Court has further ordered that the petitioner should be asked that how and under what circumstances he had implicated and charge sheeted the accused Zahoor Ahmed against whom no evidence was available with him even at the time of registration of FIR as well as at the time when the charge sheet against him was framed and other co accused were presented, whereby, the Inspector General of Police Jammu Zone has been directed to conduct a departmental enquiry against the petitioner. JNF

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