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Medical Records And Examinations Play A Crucial Role In Determining Police Brutality: In Gauhati High Court

The importance of medical records and examinations in determining police brutality cannot be overstated. The use of disproportionate and unjustified force by law enforcement is known as police brutality. It is a civil rights violation and extreme police misbehavior or assault. It can also refer to a circumstance in which cops use excessive or unnecessary force against a person. It is required to check the medical records for traces of an assault to prove the police’s innocence. The High Court Of Gauhati upheld this through a single learned bench MR. JUSTICE HITESH KUMAR SARMA in SRI DIMBESWAR ROY V. THE STATE OF ASSAM (Criminal Petition No. 678 OF 2017).

Facts of the case – Prejonitha Sangma filed an ejahar with the Officer-In-Charge, Goalpara Sadar Police Station, alleging, among other things, that her minor daughter Miss Tarimchi Sangma was kidnapped. She was abducted from the road in front of her house at 10:00 p.m. by the accused person named Sl No. 1 in the ejahar, with the help of other unknown accused, and taken to an unknown location by inducing her and making false claims. The girl could not be found after several searches and inquiries, and the accused No. 1, as specified in the ejahar, contacted the informant’s phone number from his mobile SIM No. 7002701572. Offender No. 1 was listed as Rahul Ali, son of the unknown, in the abovementioned ejahar. A plea was made to take the appropriate action by researching the occurrence. Goalpara P.S. Case No. 46/2017 was filed under Sections 366(A)/34 of the IPC and Section 8 of the POCSO Act based on the ejahar as mentioned above. Md. Jannadur Rahman, son of Mizanur Rahman, and Md. Sayed Manzur Hassan, son of Abdul Mazid, was detained and brought before the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Goalpara, and a forwarding report. It claimed that a petition was made to confine the accused to jail hajot for 14 days to complete the inquiry.

Based on the inquiry report and the documents on record, the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Goalpara, ruled prima facie that crimes under Sections 166/325/338 of the IPC had been committed. The learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Goalpara, took charge of the issue and directed to file a case, based on which CR Case No. 109/2017 was filed against the petitioner under Sections 166/325/338 of the IPC. The previous record of CR Case No. 109/2017 was forwarded to the learned Munsiff Magistrate No. 1, Goalpara, for disposition.

According to the records, Boko, the Member Secretary of the Assam State Legal Services Authority, visited the Observation Home on 16.02.2017 and came across Jannadur Rahman, who claimed that the concerned police personnel of Goalpara Police Station (Sadar), as well as the OC Sri Dimbeswar Roy. They had physically assaulted him several times, resulting in injuries, including a fracture, before handing him over to the Observation Home.

Following the arguments of the parties’ respective skilled counsel and a review of the evidence on file, it has become apparent that the claimed victim in this matter was in prison custody from February 10, 2017, to February 15, 2017. The documents show that on the 9th and 10th of February, 2017, Jannadur Rahman, a juvenile-in-conflict with the law, was evaluated by a competent doctor at Goalpara Civil Hospital and found fit, with no injuries his person at the time. However, the accusation relates to when the petitioner was in jail rather than police custody. There is no evidence in the record, even tangentially, that the petitioner had an opportunity to torture the victim, as mentioned above, Jannadur Rahman.

Mr. Agarwal, learned senior counsel for the petitioner, has also submitted, citing the Supreme Court’s decision in D. Devaraja V. Owais Sabeer Hussain, reported in (2020) 7 SCC 695. In this case, prosecution sanction was required, which was not obtained before taking cognizance, and cognizance was taken without prosecution sanction. He has further stated that the petitioner was an Inspector of Police at the time of the incident and was the Officer-In-Charge of Goalpara Police Station.

Mr. Gogoi, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor, has argued that assaulting a person suspected of a crime is not part of a police officer’s professional duties. However, in the contention, it was discovered that the petitioner did not abuse or injure Jannadur, as mentioned above Rahman. As a result, legal action was needed.

In light of the previous discussions and the conclusions recorded, notably on facts, this Court is inclined to quash the proceeding as mentioned above. The inquiry mentioned above reports as an abuse of the Court’s procedure. As a result, the proceeding discussed earlier, including the orders issued therein, is quashed.

Click here to view the Judgement

Reviewed by Rangasree.

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