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Bombay HC orders independent inquiry into lawyer''s arrest, handcuffing

Bombay HC orders independent inquiry into lawyer''s arrest, handcuffing
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530
Mumbai, May 28 (PTI) The Bombay High Court has ordered

an independent inquiry into an incident of a lawyer''s arrest

and his handcuffing last month by the Kharghar police in Navi

Mumbai.

The lawyer, Vimal Jha, and a local lawyers'' body had

filed two pleas in the court, challenging such an arrest,

stating that Jha had been detained illegally and produced

before the magistrate''s court in handcuffs.

A vacation bench of Justices S J Kathawala and S P

Tavade passed an order on May 19 appointing principal district

and sessions judge, Thane, R M Joshi, to head an inquiry into

the incident.

The court''s order was made available on its website on

Friday.

The pleas filed by Jha and the organisation Lawyers

for Just Society claimed that the former''s arrest was illegal.

According to the petitioners, the Kharghar police had

arrested Jha on the charges of kidnapping and extortion based

on a complaint lodged by one of his clients.

The police had flouted norms of the Criminal Procedure

Code (CrPC) and Supreme Court orders on Jha''s arrest,

producing him before a magistrate, handcuffing etc, the

petitioners alleged.

The petitioners'' counsel Subhash Jha and Prashant

Pandey claimed that the lawyer was arrested on April 3, but

produced before a magistrate only on April 5 and was

handcuffed at the time.

The CrPC mandates that one is produced before a

magistrate within 24 hours of his or her arrest, while the

Supreme Court mandates that no accused must be handcuffed

unless a magistrate''s order is obtained for the same.

During the last hearing on May 17, the state''s

counsel, chief public prosecutor (CPP) Deepak Thakare had

denied the allegations made by the petitioners.

Thakare had told the bench that Jha was arrested on

April 4 and was produced before the magistrate court on April

5.

He later said that Jha was called to the police

station on April 3, but an FIR was registered around 4 am on

April 5 and he was arrested only after that.

When the bench asked Thakare for the CCTV footage from

the concerned police station to confirm the same, he said the

police station did not have CCTV cameras installed at the time

of Jha''s arrest.

CCTVs had been installed in the police station only on

May 1 this year, the CPP said.

The court had taken a strong exception to Thakare''s

submissions.

Subsequently, the Kharghar police filed an affidavit

in the High Court, offering an "unconditional apology" to the

court for any inadvertent errors, admitting that Jha had been

handcuffed, and said a police inquiry would be initiated into

the alleged incident.

The court, however, said the incident warranted an

independent inquiry and appointed Judge Joshi to head the

same.

It also directed the Kharghar police and the

Maharashtra state CID to offer requisite attention to Judge

Joshi in the inquiry.

The inquiry will look into, among other things, if Jha

was detained illegally, whether the police were justified in

handcuffing him, and when the CCTVs were installed at the

concerned police station, it said.

The court directed Judge Joshi to complete the inquiry

by June 15, the next date of hearing. PTI AYA

ARU ARU


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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