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Thursday, June 17, 2021

J&K court orders inquiry against police officer for ‘shoddy’ probe in UAPA case

Framing charges against seven of the ten accused men and discharging the three others, third additional sessions judge, Jammu, Sunit Gupta, who also hears NIA cases, “strongly recommended” initiation of a departmental inquiry against DySP Sunny Singh — the investigating officer.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 9, 2021 8:04:48 am
Justice Gupta directed the Jammu zone IGP to "conduct a departmental inquiry against deliquent police officer namely Sunny Gupta, DySP who has not done his job in an honest and abled manner''.

A magistrate on Tuesday ordered a departmental inquiry against a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police for conducting investigation in a “very perfunctory and unprofessional manner” in a case related to ten alleged underground workers of terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen in Kishtwar district.

Framing charges against seven of the ten accused men and discharging the three others, third additional sessions judge, Jammu, Sunit Gupta, who also hears NIA cases, “strongly recommended” initiation of a departmental inquiry against DySP Sunny Singh — the investigating officer of the case.

He should be asked as to “why and under what circumstances, he had not collected the real evidence” against accused and “left out important aspects” of the case, Justice Gupta said.

“Before parting, I would like to register my reservations and dissatisfaction against the investigating officer of the present case who appeared to have conducted investigation in a very perfunctory and unprofessional manner,’’ the judge observed, adding that the “quality of investigation nowhere speaks that it has been conducted by a gazetted officer of the rank of DySP”.

In support of his observation, the judge pointed out that despite clear allegations against accused of harbouring categorised terrorists and providing them weapons, the investigating officer did not bother to seize any of the accused’s mobile phones, or collect their call data records (CDRs) to establish their links with categorised terrorists.

“I am quite surprised how Sunny Gupta has qualified the administrative examination of the state and become Dy.SP in the police department, as I have not been able to find him suitable in the basic intellect of the person’’.

The seven accused against whom the court framed charges under UAPA provisions are: Bashir Ahmed, Wali Mohammad, Ghulam Nabi, Mohammad Ramzan, Saddam Hussain, Khazar Mohammad and Mohammad Hassan. Khazar and Mohd Hassan were also charged under provisions of the Arms Act.

The three persons discharged were: Zahoor Ahmed, Bashir Ahmed and Yassir Hussain.

Judge Gupta’s observations about the investigation were primarily over the people charge-sheeted in the case. He said DySP Singh should also be asked “how and under what circumstances, he had implicated and charge sheeted accused Zahoor Ahmed, against whom no evidence was available with him even at the time of registration of FIR, as well as presentation of charge sheet.”

He directed the Jammu zone IGP to “conduct a departmental inquiry against deliquent police officer namely Sunny Gupta, DySP who has not done his job in an honest and abled manner’’.

He directed his office to communicate this order to IGP Jammu for compliance.

All 10 of the accused were arrested after an FIR was registered at Dacchan police station in 2020 on charges of providing logistical support, including shelter, weapons and information about movement of security forces, to Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists.

“From the perusal of the file, it reveals that initially, at the time of registration of FIR, a number of persons have been roped in the present case but during investigation, the investigating officer namely, Sunny Gupta, DySP (Hqrs) Kishtwar, conducted investigation in such a lethargic and sluggish manner that he had not taken even a little pain to search for evidence in the present case,” the judge observed.

“These kind of sensitive cases which are connected with the sovereignty and unity of the nation have been assigned to such senior police officers with the rank of DySP and above so that a better investigation can be expected from them. But when we look into the investigation in the present case, we find that a much better investigation could be conducted by even a Head Constable in comparison to the investigation conducted by DySP Sunny Gupta,” the judge observed.

Singh has only acted as “spectator” and he had only got the statements of some of the witnesses recorded either under section 161 or 164 of CrPC, Justice Gupta said.

“Besides this, he had not moved even an inch in the investigation of the case,” he observed, adding “I am quite surprised how Sunny Gupta has qualified the administrative examination of the state and become Dy.SP in the police department, as I have not been able to find him suitable in the basic intellect of the person’’.

“From the perusal of the file, I just find that he has also arrayed Mohammad Ramzan as one of the accused in the present case, but the accused was already in judicial custody in another case vide FIR 268/2019 of P/S Kishtwar at the time of registration of the present FIR, he pointed out.

The judge further pointed out that investigation in FIR No 268/2019 also was conducted by the same officer and as such, he was well aware about the custody of the accused Mohammad Ramzan in FIR No 268/2019. However, he did not show the custody of accused Mohd. Ramzan in the present case as an accused and no kind of remand either police or judicial was ever obtained in the present case.

“This kind of lapse on the part of investigating officer is highly depreciable and should not be tolerated. Similarly, while investigation in FIR No 268/2019, the same officer i.e. Mr. Sunny Gupta, Dy.SP has acted in the same like manner and he has also demolish the said case as he has demolish the present case,’’ the judge observed, adding that “due to his sheer incompetency and negligence, this court was forced to discharged some of the accused persons in the earlier case vide FIR No 268/2019 entitled State V/S Tariq Hussain & Ors and in the present case also”.

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