The Supreme Court of India has ordered the home department of all state governments to fasten accountability on public prosecutors and investigating officers so as to ensure that justice is not defiled due to deliberate lapses on their part.
Lawyers, Police Rapped by Supreme Court for failed cases. The apex court issued the order after observing how such lapses usually result in acquittal of accused even in the most serious offences. The court also emphasized on the necessity to punish all those who deliberately play in the hands of mischievous elements and work on their behest to protect the accused.
“On the culmination of a criminal case in acquittal, the investigating or prosecuting officials responsible for such acquittal must necessarily be identified. A finding needs to be recorded in each case, whether the lapse was innocent or blameworthy,” a bench of Justice CK Prasad and Justice JS Khehar said on Tuesday, Times of India reports.
“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 Taking into consideration the seriousness of the matter, the official concerned may be withdrawn from investigative responsibilities, permanently or temporarily, depending purely on his culpability,” the bench added.
Justice Khehar, while writing the judgment on behalf of the bench, ordered the home departments of all state government to enact a strategic procedure that would allow them to take adequate action against prosecuting and erring investigating officials.
Apparently, the bench resorted to this drastic and significant step after observing how the lack of evidence led to acquittal of an Ahmedabad man who had been accused of raping and murdering a six old year girl.
According to the FIR filed in the case, the man had lured the young girl to a field before committing the heinous crime. Not only he raped and murdered the girl, but also severed her feet to steal hear anklets.
Even though the trial court had sentenced him to death, the follow-up procedure in the high court and the Supreme Court resulted in his acquittal on the ground of inadequate evidence.
“Fearless now, because he could not be administered the punishment he ought to have suffered. And fearsome on account of his having remained unaffected by the brutal crime committed by him. His actions now, know of no barriers. He could be expected to act in an unfathomable savage manner, incomprehensible to a sane mind,” Justice Khehar stated.