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Delhi court directs registration of FIR against ACP under SC/ST Act

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A Delhi High Court directed the registration of FIR against an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) under the SC/ST Act for allegedly neglecting his duties by failing to appear before the court despite notices and conducting an unfair inquiry in a criminal case.

Additional Sessions Judge Sonu Agnihotri directed the Joint Commissioner of Police, Western Range, to register an FIR against ACP Bijender Singh, who was also the Investigating Officer in the case.

The officer asked the officer to submit the compliance report on April 13.

The court said the FIR has to be lodged under Section 4 of the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act which prescribes punishment for wilful neglect of duties by a public servant.

The judge further directed the joint CP to investigate the matter properly and file charge sheet if required.

The criminal case relates to a parking dispute in a residential area that took place in July last year. The complainant lodged a criminal case alleging that the accused officer did not conduct a fair investigation in the matter and in fact, had sent various persons, including two Delhi Police constables, to the ancestral village of the complainant, an advocate, to pressurize him into withdraw the complaint.

The court further observed that ACP has been alleged to delegate his responsibilities which is a clear violation of Rule 7 of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Act which mandates that such cases have to be investigated by a police officer, not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

“Investigating Officer should have conducted an impartial inquiry into the matter and should have taken the statement of complainant and witnesses cited by him and arrival of the decision on the complaint should have been on basis of statements of both the sides,” the court said.

It also observed that the ACP has been alleged of conducting a one-sided inquiry and failed to arrest the accused persons.  “By failing to enquire the case impartially, the officer has violated the provisions of the Act and therefore is liable to be prosecuted for dereliction of duties as required by the law,” the court said.

DCP Dwarka even delegated the responsibility of forwarding charge sheet to Additional DCP, Dwarka may be to evade his responsibility under the Rules or to avoid him directly being coming into the picture to save accused persons from being arrested,” the court said.

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