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Police officers may use necessary force while discharging their duty in order to arrest an accused: Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court has upheld that police officers may use necessary force while discharging their duty in order to arrest an accused through THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE BECHU KURIAN THOMAS in the case of Gulam Rasul v State of Kerala & Anr. (CRL.MC NO. 4674 OF 2016)

FACTS OF THE CASE:

Petitioner had filed a complaint against a Circle Inspector of Police alleging offences under Sections 341, 323 and 324 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. 

By impugned order, the learned Magistrate found that the sanction for prosecuting the accused ought to have been obtained under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and therefore refused to take cognizance. The aforementioned order refusing to take cognizance and instead deferring the proceedings until the sanction was obtained from the Government was impugned in the petition under Section 482 of the Cr. P.C.

Sri. Lal K.Joseph, the learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the 2nd respondent police officer had brutally attacked the petitioner with a bamboo stick and dragged him by his hair. Pursuant to the complaint of torture, the learned Magistrate had, on noticing the injuries directed to provide medical attention to the petitioner and thereafter he was admitted in a hospital at Manjeri for three days.  The learned counsel also argued that the 2nd respondent was not acting in the discharge of his duty in inflicting torture on the petitioner. Therefore, the impugned order was liable to be set aside.

Sri.V.Vinay, the learned counsel for the 2nd respondent contended that the impugned order had considered in detail all the relevant aspects and therefore rightly deferred taking cognizance of the case.

JUDGEMENT:

The Court noted that the petitioner and several other people were named as accused in a first information report (FIR) for trespassing on the premises of the petitioner’s employer, who had filed a lawsuit against him. Furthermore, the Magistrate determined that the petitioner was arrested by the police during their investigation as a result of the crime’s registration. The Court determined that the petitioner had not received any major injuries based on the wound certificate issued by the hospital where he was treated.

The Magistrate had held that if in the doing of his official duty, a person acted in excess of his duty. There is a reasonable connection between the act and the performance of the official duty, the act done in excess cannot be regarded as a sufficient ground to deprive the public servant of the protection under Section 197 Cr.P.C. 

Thus, the Court noted that a reading of the impugned order showed that the learned Magistrate had considered all aspects of the case, appreciated the legal and factual issues, and found the need for sanction to prosecute the accused before taking cognizance. As a result, the Court did not find any reason to interfere with the conclusions arrived at by the learned Magistrate under section 482 of the Cr.P.C.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY

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