The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said time has come for the Maharashtra government to take immediate steps towards introducing advanced methods for investigation of serious offences like murder and also ensure that the investigating officers are skilled in handling such cases. “Every other case investigated by the police ends in acquittal or the probe reaches a dead end. What is to be done in such cases? Police are engaged only in bandobast duty these days. They are not trained as to how to handle murder cases where thorough investigation is required,” a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Nutan Sardessai said.
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“We need trained investigating officers. If investigation in serious offences is done by a constable who has not even passed matriculation then the probe will reach a dead end only or an acquittal. Skilled investigation is required,” the court said.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Ashwini Rane which had sought a CBI probe into the murder of her husband Nikhil Rane. Nikhil, a builder from Pune, was shot dead on November 23, 2009. When the police probe reached a dead end, Ashwini approached the high court which transferred the case to CBI in 2011.
The court had then kept the petition pending and extended its scope and had asked the Maharashtra government to look into the issue of police failure to probe such cases.
“Even if you see cases where RTI activists have been murdered in the recent past, the police investigation reached a dead end following which CBI had to be roped in. The only manner used by the police now is arrest someone and force a confession from him. But then the case does not stand during trial and ends in acquittal,” Justice Kanade said. The bench said that nowadays even people are not scared of the police.
“We have reached a stage where the police themselves need protection as they are attacked by citizens. Recently, one traffic constable lost his life after he was assaulted by someone on the road,” it said. The court noted that even CBI these days has been claiming that it does not have proper infrastructure. The bench has posted the petition for further hearing after two weeks.