Act against criminals in uniform: Calcutta HC
Times of India, 04 December 2020
KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday asked the state DGP to probe an allegation of harassment and extortion of a person by a police officer in a case of alleged cheque fraud, saying, “It is more important to proceed against uniformed criminals before other criminal activity is checked.”
A division bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Aniruddha Roy, which was hearing an anticipatory bail plea, gave their order after the state told the bench that “there is no material to proceed against the petitioner in the present case”. The HC also observed that the petitioner, Ranjit Kumar De, was summoned for questioning under Section 41A CrPC on the basis of a vague reference to him in a case record running into 100 pages in an alleged cheque forgery case.
The HC said, “Prima facie, the notice that was issued to the petitioner appears to have been for extraneous considerations and, possibly, for the known police proclivity to extort money by needlessly entangling citizens in criminal cases.” The court directed the DGP to probe the charges against the investigating officer, and take disciplinary action, if required. The HC said: “This appears to be a case of harassment or extortion by the investigating officer and immediate appropriate disciplinary measures must be instituted against possible unruly conduct.”
According to De’s lawyers, Soumyajit Das Mahapatra and Dhananjoy Banerjee, this case was lodged in Mograhat PS on September 9 for cheating, fraud, and criminal conspiracy. The HC said, “It is needless to say that the petitioner can no longer be disturbed in connection with the present case in any manner whatsoever.”