Srinagar- Observing that protection and liberty of an individual is the paramount consideration of every limb of the state, a court here has expressed disappointment over police investigation into the killing of one person allegedly by militants near Solina Srinagar in 2003.
According to the prosecution, on 6 January 2003, police station Shergari received information from reliable sources that a group of militants armed with illegal automatic weapon opened fire on one Abdul Hamid Sheikh son of Abdul Khaliq of Allochi Bagh Srinagar, at Solina near petrol pump. On receipt of the information the case FIR No. 4/2003 under Section 307 RPC read with Section 7/27 Arms Act came to be registered in the Police Station Shergari.
Later a team of officers from the police station rushed to the place of occurrence and shifted the injured to the hospital where he was declared brought dead. The case was subsequently converted into one under Section 302 RPC.
“The material before this court in the form of the charge sheet and the statements of the witnesses recorded under the section 161 Cr.P.C. does not disclose any prima facie involvement of the accused in the commission of the alleged offences,” Khursheed ul Islam, 1st Additional Sessions Judge, Srinagar, said.
There is no material on the file which would disclose any conspiracy hatched by the accused in furtherance of their common intention to kill the deceased, the court observed.
“I do not find any sufficient ground for framing of charge against the accused and prima facie their appears no ground for proceeding against the accused,” the court said and discharged the accused including Showkat Ahmad Wani of Pantha Chowk Srinagar, Riyaz Ahmad Shah of Zero Bridge Rajbagh Srinagar, Fayaz Ahmad Bilal of Miasuma Lal Chowk Srinagar, Sami-ullah Khan of Tengapora Batamaloo Srinagar and Mohammad Altaf Mir of Gani Mir from the allegations levelled against them.
“Before parting with the file, I want to place on record, the disappointing standard which the police has adopted while conducting the investigation of the case, where a precious life was lost,” the court said, adding, “The Investigating Officer was expected to be very careful in the collection of the evidence to search the truth and the evidence so collected should have been of such a quality that could be used as admissible evidence.”
It was the duty of the police to investigate fairly and thoroughly and collect all such evidence whether for or against the suspects, the court underlined.
“The protection and liberty of an individual is the paramount consideration of every limb of the state, be it the investigating agency or the court of law, the procedure must be such as to ensure that the guilty are apprehended and punished in accordance with the law but in the process the innocent persons should not be harassed, that is the aim and object of the entire criminal justice system,” the court said, adding, “The manner in which the police has conducted their investigation with complete indifference to the essential norms in proceeding against the accused has left important leads unchecked and glossed over the leads that did not suit the story that they had conceived and ultimately failed to present a cogent conceivable and fool proof chain of events that would point to the guilt of the accused.”
The evidence collected and relied upon by the investigating agency is not even admissible under law which has left the court with no option but to discharge the accused in the case, it added.
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