Orders for the time bound probe by High Court into stripping of three men at Khanna Police Station.
The controversy began when three men, including a father and a son, filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court stating that they had been allegedly stripped naked and a video of the act was shot by an official of police department in Ludhiana last year.
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The police officials are considered as the law enforcement warriors. Their main role is to provide safety to the individual’s by punishing the wrong doer and maintain the peace of the society. They are expected to perform their duties with utmostdevotion, dedication and loyalty. A police officer must be a person of high moral values. But, the person who is expected to make the citizens safe, himself commits such shameful and heinous crimes against the common man. The person who has been appointed at such a reputational and responsible position should not be influenced by anyone. The Constitution of India provides for Rule of law and equality before law. But these kinds of acts are highly violative of the provisions of Constitution of India. Such cases require a quick investigation and the wrong doer has to be punished in order to warn the other such officials present in the department.
Brief Facts of the Case:
- The High Court of Punjab and Haryana had acted on the petition of three persons, including a father – son duo, who were allegedly stripped naked and video of the Act was shot.
- The video was shot in June 2019, when petitioners were picked up by the police allegedly at the behest of the local Congress leader.
- The allegations regarding stripping are against the then Khanna Sadar SHO, Baljinder Singh.
- They had demanded that an FIR be registered against the erring police officer for wrongful confinement, recording naked videos and further circulating it.
- They had also demanded that steps should be taken to ensure their safety.
- The complainants are from Khanna and belong from the Scheduled Castes (SC) family.
- The DGP had already ordered a probe into the matter in April. However complainants counsel DS Sobti had stated in the arguments to the court that despite of DGP ordering a probe nothing has happened so far.
- The petitioners demanded for a quick action and punishment to the offenders as soon as possible.
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Legal Stand out point:
The petitioners were wrongfully confined by the police officer at Khanna. So the officer must be charged under Section 342 of Indian Penal Code.
Section 342 in The Indian Penal Code
- Punishment for wrongful confinement.—Whoever wrongfully confines any person shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
Section 292 in The Indian Penal Code
260 [292. Sale, etc., of obscene books, etc.— 261 [
(1) For the purposes of sub-section (2), a book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure or any other object, shall be deemed to be obscene if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect, or (where it comprises two or more distinct items) the effect of any one of its items, is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt person, who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.]
262 [(2) ] Whoever—
(a) sells, lets to hire, distributes, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation, or for purposes of sale, hire, distribution, public exhibition or circulation, makes, produces or has in his possession any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure or any other obscene object whatsoever, or
(b) imports, exports or conveys any obscene object for any of the purposes aforesaid, or knowing or having reason to believe that such object will be sold, let to hire, distributed or publicly exhibited or in any manner put into circulation, or
(c) takes part in or receives profits from any business in the course of which he knows or has reason to believe that any such obscene objects are for any of the purposes aforesaid, made, produced, purchased, kept, imported, exported, conveyed, publicly exhibited or in any manner put into circulation, or
(d) advertises or makes known by any means whatsoever that any person is engaged or is ready to engage in any act which is an offence under this section, or that any such obscene object can be procured from or through any person, or
(e) offers or attempts to do any act which is an offence under this section, shall be punished 263 [on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and, in the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and also with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees.
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Further the offender would be charged under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code.
Section 294 of The Indian Penal Code
- Whoever, to the annoyance of others;
(a)Does any obscene act in any public place, or
(b)Sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place,
Shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.
Decision by the Court:
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday, while hearing the petition filed by the three men, stated “the facts as mentioned in the petition alongwith the documents should make us hang our head in shame that we are living in a society allowing such things to happen by an official of the police department, at the behest of an influential person for their own motive
The Court directed the DGP of Punjab Police to conduct a time bound probe by appointment a special investigation team, if required, to investigate the matter as soon as possible. The Court further added that the report of the investigating agency along with the action taken report be placed before the Court on the next date of hearing.
For Case specific advice, Case Specific advice, please contact top/best/expert criminal High Court Chandigarh Advocates Lawyers in Panchkula Mohali (Punjab & Haryana).
This post is written by Riya Rana.
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