The Jharkhand HC questioned the action of senior police officers of Bihar and Jharkhand in a matter concerning the arrest of a Ranchi-based lawyer on account of their failure to follow the due process of law.
A bench comprising of Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad and Justice Ananda Sen was hearing a writ petition filed by the wife of additional public prosecutor seeking to know the whereabouts of her husband alleging that he had been detained by the Bihar police.
After filing of the writ petition and the delivering of the copy to the counsel of the petitioner, the petitioner’s husband was released from police custody. The Bench hauled up the Additional Superintendent of Police, Danapur, and Senior Superintendent of Police, Patna, and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ranchi and sought their responses regarding various queries of the Court.
FACTS OF THE CASE
Additional Public Prosecutor, Rajneesh Vardhan was allegedly picked up by Patna police on November 7, 2021 from his residence for his alleged involvement in connection with a case registered under Sections 341, 406, 420, 506 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code.
Appearing before the Court, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ranchi told the Court that the husband of the writ petitioner had not been produced before any local magistrate for transit remand.
Against this backdrop, the Court, prima facie found that the procedure as stipulated in the Code of Criminal Procedure which is mandated to be followed before arresting a person had not been followed in the instant case.
The court observed that Article 21 of the Constitution of India envisages personal liberty, which can only be taken away by following due procedure and Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India provides the process to be followed after arrest. Further the court asked the following questions to the police:
- Whether serving of notice under Section 41(A) of the Cr.P.C. upon the husband of the writ petitioner after his arrest can be said to be the correct mandate as stipulated under Section 41(A) of the Cr.P.C.?
- Whether notice under Section 41(A) of the Cr.P.C. can be given after arrest of the person concerned?
- Whether the husband of the writ petitioner was produced by Sukhdeo Nagar Police Station (Ranchi) before any local Magistrate having its jurisdiction at Ranchi for transit remand for allowing him to accompany with the Danapur Police officials?
- Whether the husband of the writ petitioner was produced before the local Magistrate having the jurisdiction over the Danapur Police Station in the district of Patna after his arrest as mandated under Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India?
The matter will now be heard on November 25, 2021.