July 09, 2018
The High Court of Madhya Pradesh in a recent case took strong note of the State’s duty to compensate if any injustice has been meted out to its citizens. The High Court in the case awarded compensation of 1 Lac each to the appellants who were falsely implicated in a criminal case.
While pronouncing its order, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh made the following observations:
If because of poor investigation and tainted prosecution, the accused suffers and it is apparent that he is innocent then he deserves compensation from the State under Right to Life.
Right to Life is a Fundamental Right enshrined under Chapter III of the Constitution of India and Preamble of our Constitution gives priority to secure Justice to citizen at the top of all virtues, therefore, it is incumbent upon the State to take care of its citizens, when a citizen is severely bruised by the organs of the State therefore, appellants deserve compensation because of poor investigation and tainted prosecution.
In this case appellants alleged that their TIP (Identification Parade) had never been held at the instance of police during investigation. The Court noted from material available on record that the TIP of one of the appellant namely, Nandu was never held. Only Dock identification was made and the reason for not conducting TIP of Nandu was not explained by the prosecution.
The Court noted that in view of the evidence and deposition by the witnesses, doubt was raised about prosecution. The Court stated that the motive of prosecution to falsely implicate the appellants because either the complaint filed by the complainant and the victim was bereft of truth or prosecution could not able to discharge its functions properly and just to cover up their fallacy, falsely implicated the present appellants, who were already in the jail in some other case and that is the travesty of justice.
Thus, the High Court held that TIP was vitiated by its inherent procedural impropriety and except that, no reliable evidence was available to implicate appellants beyond reasonable doubt.
Some remarkable observations made by the High Court in the case are quoted below:
The Right to Life is a Fundamental Right enshrined under the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution, in the most coveted chapter (Chapter III of Fundamental Rights) of the Constitution coupled with the enlightenment displayed by the Preamble of our Constitution wherein Securing Justice to Citizens has been placed at the top of all virtues and being a democratic and welfare State, it is incumbent upon the State to take care of its citizens with motherly tenderness specially, when a citizen is severely bruised by the organs of the State.
Therefore, this Court finds the instant case, a fit case for grant of compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- (one lac only) each, to both the appellants to be granted as compensation for the injustice inflicted over them by way of false implication. Our criminal Juris prudence gives more stress over avoiding of false implication of an innocent to the extent where hundred guilty may go scot- free. The spirit behind the same is very pious.
Even otherwise, by one case of false implication of an innocent, rule of law loses one exponent (supporter) and a rebel with defiance towards rule of law is ready. Poor investigation with tainted prosecution is perfect recipe for such eventuality.
Although, no such provision exists in the Cr.P.C. for compensating the accused but certainly State cannot wriggle out from its constitutional and tortious liability, in the present set of facts. Fundamental right of a person cannot be sacrificed at the altar of mis-governance or at the whims or because of poor investigation. State Government would be at liberty to recover the said amount from the erring officers/ investigation officers, if appropriate authority decides so, after giving opportunity of hearing to them and if their casualness and negligence are proved in an enquiry.
The entire case can be accessed here.