Police Officers Be Punished On Acquittal Of Accused : Supreme Court

New Delhi: Supreme Court had passed a landmark judgement on acquittal of innocently involved or which so ever, which reads in conclusion as:-

21. On the culmination of a criminal case in acquittal, the concerned investigating/prosecuting official(s) responsible for such acquittal must necessarily be identified. A finding needs to be recorded in each case, whether the lapse was innocent or blameworthy. Each erring officer must suffer the consequences of his lapse, by appropriate departmental action, whenever called for. Taking into consideration the seriousness of the matter, the concerned official may be withdrawn from investigative responsibilities, permanently or temporarily, depending purely on his culpability. We also feel compelled to require the adoption of some indispensable measures, which may reduce the malady suffered by parties on both sides of criminal litigation. Accordingly we direct, the Home Department of every State Government, to formulate a procedure for taking action against all erring investigating/prosecuting officials/officers. All such erring officials/officers identified, as responsible for failure of a prosecution case, on account of sheer negligence or because of culpable lapses, must suffer departmental action. The above mechanism formulated would infuse seriousness in the performance of investigating and prosecuting duties, and would ensure that investigation and prosecution are purposeful and decisive. The instant direction shall also be given effect to within 6 months.

22. A copy of the instant judgment shall be transmitted by the Registry of this Court, to the Home Secretaries of all State Governments and Union Territories, within one week. All the concerned Home Secretaries, shall ensure compliance of the directions recorded above. The records of consideration, in compliance with the above direction, shall be maintained.

23. We hope and trust the Home Department of the State of Gujarat, will identify the erring officers in the instant case, and will take appropriate departmental action against them, as may be considered appropriate, in accordance with law.

24. The instant criminal appeal is accordingly disposed of.



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