A trial court's order making scathing remarks against Delhi Police has come under the scrutiny of the Delhi High Court which expunged the directions made by the judicial officer raising questions over the competence of the force. The high court said the remarks made by the additional sessions judge (ASJ) that the investigation of a cheating and forgery case has been botched up and the police officers, their superiors and the accused have formed a cartel, were totally unwarranted. "The ASJ is well advised to concentrate on his judicial work and should not open parallel proceedings in the matter and should not dawn upon himself the role of disciplinary authority over Delhi Police. "The Commissioner of Police is seized of the matter and is competent enough to take appropriate action against erring police officers," Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said while allowing the plea of the Delhi government to challenge the trial court's order making remarks against it.
The trial court had passed the order in a case where a complaint was filed by the medical superintendent of Lok Nayak Hospital in September 2015, that a special audit of accounts was done and Rs 1.29 crore was transferred in the accounts of 10 unknown persons by one of the hospital staff. The police registered an FIR in January for the alleged offenses of cheating, forgery, using forged documents as genuine and criminal conspiracy under the IPC. While hearing the anticipatory bail of an accused, the trial court observed that there was delay of more than three years in registration of the FIR and not only the police officers holding the inquiry/investigation in the complaint but their superiors officers who allowed the matter to be suppressed are responsible and culpably accountable for this delay.
The high court expunged the directions passed by the ASJ in its August order by which it has asked the Home Secretary to examine whether Delhi Police, under the stewardship of the incumbent Commissioner of Police, is fit, in terms of willingness, capability, and probity, to investigate crimes of this nature where there has been loss to the state exchequer. The trial court had said, "If the Home Secretary finds Delhi Police to be wanting in the aforesaid yardsticks, he may transfer the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation or any other competent law enforcement agency. The latter agency may invoke the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and shall examine the role played by accused persons as well as the police officers." The high court said no doubt there was a delay in lodging of the FIR but even so, the ASJ should have only brought the matter to the knowledge of the Police commissioner for taking action against the erring police officials. The remarks made by the ASJ are totally unwarranted and he should have refrained himself from making such remarks against the police force of the capital without there being anything on record to show that police officer and their superiors had any mala fide intention, the high court said. "It was not fair on the part of the ASJ to write off the competence of Delhi Police with one stroke of a pen without taking the complete inquiry report on record and giving an opportunity to the Delhi police of being heard in this regard," it said.