New Delhi: The Supreme Court has taken serious note of the Madhya Pradesh Police’s failure to arrest a BSP MLA’s husband accused in the two-year-old murder case of Congress leader Devendra Chourasia, and directed the state’s DGP to arrest him immediately.
The top court also took “serious note” of the alleged harassment of a judicial officer by the Damoh Superintendent of Police and asked the Director General of Police (DGP) to enquire into the allegations levelled by the Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ).
The ASJ, who is conducting a trial in the cases involving Govind Singh, the husband of BSP MLA Rambai Singh, has arrayed him as an accused in the murder case under section 319 of CrpC (Power to proceed against other persons appearing to be guilty of offence).
The judge had noted in his February 8 order that he is being pressured by the Damoh SP and his subordinates.
A SC bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and M R Shah noted that despite a non-bailable arrest warrant against Govind Singh, he has evaded arrest. “The rule of law must be preserved,” the bench added.
“We accordingly order and direct the Director General of Police of the State of Madhya Pradesh to immediately ensure the arrest of the second respondent (Govind Singh) and report compliance by filing a personal affidavit in this Court,” the bench said.
It said the judicial officer has claimed that the accused, who are “highly influential political persons”, have raised false allegations against him, and he applied for transfer of the pending case which was dismissed by the District Judge.
The bench was hearing pleas by Somesh, son of Devendra Chaurasia, and the state government seeking the cancellation of bail granted to Singh in another case.
The pleas claimed he was involved in several murder cases while on bail.
The top court said that the ASJ has apprehended that he may be subjected to an “unpleasant incident” in the future.
“We take serious note of the manner in which the Additional Sessions Judge, Hata, who is in charge of the criminal case, has been harassed by the law enforcement machinery in Damoh.
“We have no reason to disbelieve a judicial officer who has made an impassioned plea that he was being pressurized as a result of his orders under Section 319 of the CrPC,” the bench said in its order on Friday.
The bench said the DGP shall also enquire into the allegations against the Damoh Superintendent of Police and a notice shall be issued to the SP, returnable on March 26.
The top court said the facts of the case indicate that despite the registration of an FIR on March 15, 2019, wherein Somesh has alleged that Govind Singh was complicit in the murder of his father, no steps have been taken by the investigating authorities to arrest him.
“On the contrary, it was the Additional Sessions Judge who was constrained to arraign the second respondent (Govind Singh) under Section 319 of the CrPC,? the top court said.
It added that the ASJ has noted in his order that though he was taking action in compliance with the directions issued by this court, he was being obstructed.
The top court directed that adequate security be provided to the ASJ and listed the matter for further hearing on March 26.
It said though the State had moved the High Court for cancellation of the bail granted to Singh, it has failed to apprehend him.
The Madhya Pradesh government submitted that a warrant of arrest was issued against Singh, and now a proclamation under Section 82 of the CrPC on March 4, with an award of Rs 10,000.