The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu police not to harass persons summoned for enquiry at police stations.
Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan gave the direction while disposing of a criminal original petition from S Prakash and three others from Tiruppur, on September 8.
The judge also issued a set of guidelines to be strictly adhered to by the cops while summoning any person to the police station. The judge said that while summoning any person named in the complaint or any witness to the incident complained of, the police officer shall summon such person/s through a written summon under Sec.160 of the Criminal Procedure Code, specifying a particular date and time for appearance.
The minutes of the enquiry shall be recorded in the general diary/station diary/daily diary of the police station and the police shall refrain from harassing the persons called upon for enquiry/investigation.
In any case, the guidelines stipulated for preliminary enquiry or registration of FIR by the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari Vs. government of Uttar Pradesh and others in 2014 case, shall be strictly adhered to.
The petition prayed for a direction to the Tiruppur police inspector not to harass the petitioners in connection with a crime registered a few months ago. The petitioners’ counsel submitted the police harassed the petitioners under the guise of enquiry.
The government advocate (criminal side) informed the judge that on the complaint given by the complainant against the petitioners, a petition enquiry was being conducted.
Disposing of the petition, the judge observed that an enquiry into a non-cognizable or a cognizable offence is the unfettered powers of the Investigation Officers so long as the power to investigate/enquire into these offences are legitimately exercised within the framework of Chapter XII of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Though this code empowered the Magistrate to be a guardian in all the stages of the police investigation, there is no power envisaging him to interfere with the actual investigation or the mode of investigation.
It is in this background numerous petitions complaining of harassment are being reported and filed before this court seeking for directions to refrain the police officials from harassing the persons named in the complaint, the judge said and issued the guidelines.