The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while dismissing gangster Lawrence Bishnoi’s plea to direct the Chandigarh and Haryana Police to interrogate him through video conference, have ordered the two states’ Police to videograph the entire transit of the accused when he is in their custody.
Following the encounter of Vikas Dubey by Uttar Pradesh Police, gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, 35, who is presently confined in Bharatpur Jail in Rajasthan, had moved a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, fearing threat to his life and sought that directions be issued to Haryana to dispense his presence and production in a FIR filed at Sirsa.
Similarly, Bishnoi in another petition against the UT Police had contended that his physical presence in respect to the investigation in FIR 102 dated May 31, 2020, filed at Sector 34 PS, Chandigarh, under Sections 452, 307 and 34 of IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act, be dispensed with and he be interrogated through video conferencing and if required to be taken out of jail, he be handcuffed.
The Chandigarh, UT, Counsel, meanwhile have submitted before the court that the UT Police will leave no stone unturned to ensure that no harm is caused to the petitioner during transit. However, it was respectfully stated that videography from end-to-end, which would be an exercise of 10-12 hours, is neither feasible nor practical, in view of the heavy deployment of police force proposed for the transit purposes.
The bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill, after hearing the matter, directed the Chandigarh and Haryana Police that petitioner will first be brought from Rajasthan to Chandigarh by the Chandigarh Police after obtaining requisite production warrants as per provisions of law and will be produced before the Illaqa Magistrate concerned for the purpose of seeking remand.
“The accused should be brought in a bullet-proof or armoured vehicle duly escorted by armed trained commandos, armed with sophisticated arms and ammunition…The police before proceeding to Rajasthan shall intimate the Rajasthan Police so that adequate arrangements are made by the Rajasthan police for a safe transit and there is effective coordination between the police of both the states regarding the safest route to be taken and in case required to isolate the intersections or restrict the usage for a limited period when the convoy of the police is to pass through that route. It shall be ensured that all the vehicles are in perfect condition and are duly serviced before hand and checked thoroughly to rule out any chance of breakdown…,” directed Justice Gill.
“After the Chandigarh police has produced the petitioner before the Illaqa Magistrate, Chandigarh, and has obtained the remand and has interrogated the petitioner, he shall be handed over to the Haryana Police, in case, the Haryana Police is able to get his production warrants. In case, the Haryana Police is unable to get any production warrants for production of the accused in the Court at Dabwali, the Chandigarh Police shall take back the petitioner to Rajasthan. However, in case the production warrants have been issued for production of the petitioner in Court at Dabwali, the accused shall be handed over to Haryana Police at Chandigarh itself and thereafter it shall be the responsibility of the Haryana Police to safely produce the petitioner before the Illaqa Magistrate, Dabwali and thereafter, apply for his remand and after his interrogation he is to be consigned back to the jail in Rajasthan, from where he is produced… It is further ordered that the entire transit be videographed by the UT Police and the Haryana Police when the accused is in their custody…,” said the order.
Justice Gill also made it clear that in case of any default, the officials concerned should be held personally liable and responsible.
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