NEW DELHI – The Supreme Court said that fair investigation is undoubtedly imperative to protect the rights of the victims, as it expressed discontent over the investigation conducted into the death of a 17-year-old boy in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.
The top court handed over the probe to the Inspector General of Police on a complaint by his mother alleging brutal murder in police custody in May last year.
A bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M. Trivedi said: “We are prima facie of the view that the manner in which the investigation has been conducted by the investigating officer cannot be said to be fair and impartial and the complaint of the petitioner, in our considered view, deserves indulgence of this court.”
The bench added that it cannot endorse its satisfaction of a fair and independent investigation and the manner in which the investigation has been conducted by the circle officer of the police station, under whose jurisdiction the charge-sheet was filed on the basis of the charges later been framed under Section 302 IPC on December 2, 2021.
The bench said: “The need to ensure fair investigation of crime is undoubtedly imperative because it protects at one level the rights of the victim and the fundamental rights of every citizen in ensuring that crime is investigated and dealt with in accordance with law.”
The bench said it has gone through the statements recorded by the investigating officer during investigation of various police officers under Section 161 Cr.P.C.
“No one has supported the case of the prosecution, but still the charge-sheet was filed under Section 304 IPC and the Sessions Judge has framed charges later under Section 302/34 IPC,” it noted.
The boy was allegedly assaulted in police custody for violating coronavirus restrictions in the state.
The bench noted that fair investigation is the backbone of the criminal justice system and the object of the probe is to search for the truth so that it would help in meeting the ends of justice by way of fair trial in court.
The bench said it has an option either to send the matter to CBI for further re-investigation, but after it heard counsel for the parties, consider it appropriate at this stage to let a senior police officer, Bhagwan Swarup, Inspector General of Police, Intelligence, HQ, Lucknow to personally undertake further investigation.
The bench emphasised that the investigation on the complaint made by the petitioner on which FIR was registered, should be in a fair and impartial manner and report be furnished before it within a period of eight weeks.
The bench has listed the matter for further hearing on July 19. Deceased Mohammad Faisal was reportedly selling vegetables outside his house in Bangarmau town in Unnao beyond curfew timings.
According to the boy’s father, the accused policeman Vijay Chowdhary and homeguard Satyaprakash allegedly started beating him for breaking curfew rules. The family alleged that he was arrested and taken to the local police station, and the police officials assaulted him further. Later, he was taken to the community health centre, where he was declared dead. -IANS