‘It is our collective duty to correct the technical errors by guiding the respective authorities to carry out their duties in accordance with the law.’ : Calcutta HC
On Wednesday, the division bench consisting of Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul) and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Jafar Ali v. State of West Bengal (CRM (NDPS) 260 of 2023) directed all Superintendents of Police and Commissioners of Police in West Bengal to ensure that police officers diligently fill out all columns in the respective arrest memos by stating the actual situation.
Facts of the Case:
The court was hearing a bail application filed by an accused in the NDPS case on the ground of non-compliance with Section 41B of the CrPC.
The court relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in Karnail Singh vs State of Haryana (2009) 8 SCC 539 and noted that The principles applied by the Court in Karnail Singh (Supra) is applicable in respect of all cases under NDPS Act and also to the relevant provisions of other related Acts therein.
“The compliance with the requirements of Sections 42 (1) and 42(2) in regard to writing down the information received and sending a copy thereof to the superior officer, should normally precede the entry, search and seizure by the officer. But in special circumstances involving emergent situations, the recording of the information in writing and sending a copy thereof to the official superior may get postponed by a reasonable period, that is after the search, entry and seizure. The question is one of urgency and expediency.”
As a result, the court directed all SPs and CPs in West Bengal to ensure that the officers diligently fill out all of the columns in the respective Arrest Memo. “It is the duty of the Courts and also all stakeholders to take necessary steps to ensure justice. It is our collective duty to correct the technical errors by guiding the respective authorities to carry out their duties in accordance with the law,” the court said.
It denied bail to the petitioner-accused on the grounds that such technicalities in cases of this nature do not entitle the accused to benefits under the NDPS Act when charged with commercial quantities of Narcotics offences.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY DIVYA SHREE GN