order directing the arrest of a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA’s husband, accused in the two-year-old murder case of Congress leader Devendra Chourasia, or face coercive action.HE Supreme Court Friday warned the Director General of Police (DGP) of Madhya Pradesh to either comply with the Court’s
A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said it defied reason as to how an accused who is the spouse of a sitting Member of the Legislative Assembly has not been arrested despite being arraigned in pursuance of the provisions of Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 to face trial for an offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860.
“An effort is being made to shield the accused from the due process of criminal law. The Court was informed that earlier, the accused was even given security by the police though it is stated by Counsel for the State that it is now withdrawn”, the Court said.
The court made these observations while it was considering an affidavit filed by the state DGP saying that despite efforts, the police had not been able to apprehend and arrest the accused.
The court termed the affidavit of the Director-General of Police to be completely unacceptable.
It has now also asked the DGP to file another affidavit providing the following details-
- The date on which and the cause on the basis of which security was granted to the accused;
- Whether security continues to be provided as of date; and
- If not, the date on which security was withdrawn.
The top court on March 14 directed the MP police to ensure the arrest of the accused Govind Singh. The bench also took a strong view of the alleged harassment of Additional Sessions Judge, R P Sonkar, posted at district Damoh by the Superintendent of Police Damoh. It asked the DGP to inquire into the allegations.
The court noted that despite the registration of an FIR on 15 March 2019, where the petitioner had alleged that the accused Govind Singh was complicit in the murder of his father, no steps had been taken by the investigating authorities to arrest the accused.
On the contrary, the apex court said, it was the Additional Sessions Judge who was constrained to arraign Govind Singh under Section 319 (Power to proceed against other persons appearing to be guilty of offence) of the CrPC.
ASJ Sonkar, in his order, on February 8 said he was being pressurized by the Superintendent of Police, Damoh, together with his subordinates. He expressed apprehension that the accused who were “highly influential political persons” had raised false allegations against him and applied for the transfer of the pending case which was dismissed by the District Judge after it was found to be false. The judge apprehended that he may be subjected to an “unpleasant incident” in the future.
The bench also took note of 28 other criminal cases in which Govind Singh was facing prosecution.
Govind Singh had also been convicted in a murder case in the past. The Madhya Pradesh High Court, however, in 2016 suspended his sentence pending his appeal. Two applications for cancellation of bail were filed by the petitioner-son of the deceased Devendra Chourasia, as well as by the State of Madhya Pradesh. It was said that while on bail, accused Govind Singh murdered the father of the petitioner.
The High Court had declined the applications seeking cancellation of his bail.
Read the Order