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Patna High Court raps state police for seizing truck, arresting driver

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The Patna High Court has ordered the Bihar government to make efforts towards improving the conditions of truck drivers and form a body to represent their views, and provide them with a complaint redressal mechanism.

Hearing a petition on Tuesday, the division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar held that the state must have to consider their healthcare, access to food, working hours, wages, literacy and access to technology. The Bihar DGP shall ensure proper and effective functioning of a Complaint Redressal Mechanism, easily accessible to the general public, especially illiterate and the marginalized people of the state.

According to the petitioner, police officials of Parsa Police Station, Saran district had illegally detained his vehicle HR-55P-5954 since April 29, 2020, along with its driver Jitendra Kumar @ Sanjay Kumar (referred to as the detenu). The petitioner has prayed for the release of the vehicle, the driver and adequate compensation for such illegal detention.

According to the report, which was sought by the court, the driver of the vehicle was not detained. The report also reveals that now an FIR dated June 3, 2020 stands registered at the Parsa Police Station under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code. Report further clears that Jitendra Kumar was never put under confinement nor was he ever in the custody of the Police. Of his own will and volition, he was present in the vehicle which was parked near the police station.

After going through all the facts presented and arguments made the Court has observed that

“the whole narration of facts, to us, ex facie appears to be a concocted story as the Police did not immediately register an FIR when the vehicle driven by the detenu was intercepted by the police officials of Dariapur Police Station. We find that it is only when the instant petition was filed on 15.5.2020, through an e-mail, that the Police registered the case.

We are not satisfied with the explanation furnished in the report and to us it appears that both the vehicle and the driver were under illegal detention of the police officials.”

The bench is of the opinion that, torture, either mental or physical, represents the worst violations of individual human personality, an outright premeditated attack on human dignity. It has no place in the governance of the state and its legitimate use of force. In any democracy, the right to live with dignity and self-worth, cannot be violently defiled within the ambit of rule of law and good governance.

Based on the above-mentioned observations, the Court has ordered the DGP to ensure initiation of criminal proceedings against erring police officers and file a compliance report on his personal affidavit within a period of four weeks from today.

Appropriate disciplinary action/disciplinary proceedings already stands initiated against the erring police officers, which proceedings be expedited and positively concluded within a period of three months from today. Action taken report be filed in the Registry on or before April 30, 2021. The Bihar DGP shall get a report prepared, with respect to the number and the nature of the complaints filed against the police officers/officials, and take remedial measures preventing the repeated occurrence of such misconduct.

Also Read: Delhi government to re-open link for updating data for advocates welfare scheme

The DGP shall ensure that proceedings under other laws, including the Bihar police Manual, 1978, applicable in the state of Bihar, are immediately initiated against the erring officials.

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