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Supreme Court issues notice in plea against Bombay HC order in a case of custodial violence

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The Supreme Court has issued notice in a plea filed against the order of the Bombay High Court which had directed to register an FIR against erring officials in a case custodial violence and subsequent registration of FIR against the then Station house officer, Anil Deshmukh. 

The Top Court has issued notice to the Maharashtra Government, Special Inspector General of Police, Superintendent of Police, and Charan Sovindaji Waghmare Bhandara (complainant), in the plea filed by then SHO Anil Deshmukh against whom FIR was registered under Section 166 (Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person) and Section 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.

The Division Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice J.K. Maheshwari was hearing a Special Leave Petition preferred by Anil Deshmukh (retired Police Officer), assailing an order of the Bombay High Court, directing the Superintendent of Police, Bhandara to record the statements of Charan Sovindaji Waghmare along with other witnesses, furthermore, to register an FIR against the erring Police Officers, if an offence is made out, resultant of which an FIR has been filed against the retired Police Officer.

Charan Sovindaji Waghmare had alleged, he was beaten, abused and detained without cause by Anil Deshmukh, who was then Police Station Officer, Police Station, Mohadi, District Bhandara.

No atrocity committed by police, says petitioner’s advocate

Advocate Shirish K. Deshpande, appearing on behalf of Anil Deshmukh, submitted that the superior officer, namely Ashfak Sayyad had gone scotfree as he was on the verge of retirement. He further submitted that there was no atrocity committed by the police.

Advocate Deshpande argued that the Bombay High Court set aside the enquiry of a competent police officer, the Additional Director General of Police. He further added, without praying in the writ petition, the Bombay High Court was pleased to set aside the aforementioned enquiry. 

Advocate Deshpande further submitted that Charan Sovindaji Waghmare was politically connected, when he was arrested by Ashfak Sayyad, he started threatening police officers. He further added that the FIR registered in August 2020 against Anil Deshmukh has been filed under Section 166 and Section 342 of the IPC, which were serious offences.

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Advocate Deshpande: “How can the Home Department represent a police officer in a writ petition, filed against him in an individual capacity?”

Advocate Deshpande argued that Anil Deshmukh was not appropriately represented at the Bombay High Court, as he was represented by the Home Department, Government of Maharashtra in a writ petition, filed against him in an individual capacity. Deshpande informed the court that Anil Deshmukh has retired in May 2020 and the aforementioned FIR would affect his Service Record.

Background:

On July 15, 2009, a girl aged about 4 was raped, police registered a case only after 2 days of the said occurrence, upon agitation of the villagers. Due to the agitation, police conducted a hasty investigation and registered a case against Charan Sovindaji Waghmare amongst other villagers.

Charan Sovindaji Waghmare was abused and beaten by Police Officer Anil Deshmukh without cause

Charan Sovindaji Waghmare had gone to the police station on November 14, 2009 for obtaining copies of the FIR in Crime No.53/2009 and Crime No.25/2009. Upon reaching the Police Station, Waghmare was abused and beaten by Anil Deshmukh, Police Station Officer, Police Station, Mohadi, District Bhandara.

Also Read: If a woman allows a man to behave like her husband, he cannot be prosecuted for rape: Supreme Court

Waghmare complained to the Superintendent of Police, Bhandara against Anil Deshmukh, however, no action was taken against Deshmukh. He then approached the Bombay High Court with Writ Petition 629 of 2009 seeking directions to Superintendent of Police, Bhandara, District Bhandara to register an FIR against Anil Deshmukh, amongst other reliefs.

During the pendency of this suit, Waghmare approached the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission, the Commission by order dated October 3, 2016, awarded Waghmare Rs 1 lakh and Chief Secretary and directed Home Department to initiate a disciplinary enquiry against PI Ashfak Sayyad and Anil Deshmukh for illegal arrest and detention of Waghmare by committing breach of mandatory provisions under Section 50, Section 50A, Section 51, Section 56, Section 57 of Cr.P.C and Article 22 of the Constitution of India.

On December 12, 2019, Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court directed the Superintendent of Police, Bhandara to record the statements of Charan Sovindaji Waghmare along with other witnesses and Register an FIR against the erring Police Officer if an offence is made out.

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