Police, officers tried to protect accused, says Allahabad HC; transfers UP custodial death case to CBI
‘Entire effort of police is to somehow give clean chit to the accused and for this purpose important evidence is being left out while some evidence is being ‘created and manipulated’, the court said
The Allahabad High Court has transferred the probe into the alleged custodial death of a 24-year-old man to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A Division Bench of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Piyush Agrawal said that the evidence on record prima facie revealed commission of offence by accused policemen, and high ranking officers had attempted to protect the accused.
"There is sufficient material on record which prima facie reveal commission of offence by the accused and involvement of higher officers in conspiracy, destroying evidence and creating false evidence to protect the accused," the order stated.
The entire effort of the police is to somehow give clean chit to the accused and for this purpose important evidence is being left out while some evidence is being "created and manipulated", the Court added.
In view of that, fair investigation by state police does not appear to be possible, the Court said while transferring the probe to CBI, Bar & Bench has reported.
"The criminal justice system mandates that any investigation into the crime should be fair, in accordance with law and should not be tainted. It is equally important that interested or influential persons are not able to misdirect or hijack the investigation, so as to throttle a fair investigation resulting in the offenders escaping punitive course of law," the Court said in its order.
The Court was hearing a plea by Ajay Kumar Yadav, the brother of the deceased Krishna Yadav alias Pujari.
Pujari was allegedly taken from his house by the police on February 11, 2021 and detained at the police station.
According to the first information report (FIR), around 10 policemen had forcibly entered the house of the complainant and used filthy language against women, before taking away Pujari.
The complainant went to the police station to meet his brother but was not allowed. He received information on the morning next day that Pujari had passed away while in custody.
However, as per the police version, the deceased had met with a motorcycle accident and was apprehended when public manhandled him.
Since it was a custodial death matter, a judicial inquiry was done by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jaunpur, who recorded statements of 16 inquiry witnesses.
The Court after examining the material on record and statements of various witnesses said that the story developed by the accused policemen that the deceased was brought to the hospital is not supported by their own statements.
"The story of accident of the deceased in the afternoon of 11.02.2021 is a story prima facie developed by the police so as to give a different colour for the death of the deceased," the order stated.
The Court also noted that prima facie, the post mortem report appears to be manipulated or procured under undue influence.
"Perusal of the counter affidavit and copy of the case diary as produced before us by the Government Advocate prima facie shows that entire effort of the police is to somehow give clean chit to the accused and for this purpose important evidences are being left and some evidences are being created and manipulated," the Court added.
Therefore, the investigation was transferred to CBI.