[Arnab Goswami case] Contempt action against Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, concerned Police officers
As per directions given by the Hon’ble CJI Sharad Bobde while sitting in the Bombay High Court and by the various benches, the law is well settled that the police or Home Ministry has no jurisdiction or authority to order reinvestigation in a closed case.
Maharashtra's Former Minister Swarop Singh Naik and Chief Secretary were sentenced to imprisonment for acting against the guidelines of the Supreme Court in (2006) 5 SCC 1.
Supreme Court in the case of 'State Vs. Sargandharsingh Chavan (2011) 1 SCC 577', had imposed a cost of Rs. 10 Lakhs on Maharashtra Govt for unlawful interference and directions in a criminal case by then Chief Minister Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Secondly except in the cases of extreme urgency like the case of terrorist like Ajmal Kasab the investigation has to be conducted without touching/arresting the accused even if it is a case of punishment upto life imprisonment or death penalty.
The Police acting against said directions are liable to be prosecuted under sec. 220, 341, 342 etc of IPC alongwith Sec 145(2), 147 of Maharashtra Police Act.
The APP(Public prosecutor) is not supposed to act as a mouthpiece of the prosecution but he has to act as per law, as he is an officer of the Court. If advocate for accused fails to point out any illegality in the case then it is the duty of the APP to point out the same.[ Shiv Kumar Vs. Hukam Chand (1999) 7 SCC 467(F.B), Deepak Aggarwal v. Keshav Kaushik, (2013) 5 SCC 277 ]
The Magistrate before whom the accused is produced is having duty to ensure that the injustice done by the police should be immediately undone and he at his own or on the oral request can grant the bail or can grant interim bail till the main application is decided.
But if Magistrate fails to discharge his duty as above and allows the contempt of the Supreme Court to continue then he is also liable for action under contempt. He cannot be allowed to take the defence that he was not aware of the directions or judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts. [ Re: M. P. Dwivedi AIR 1996 SC 2299]
The senior police officers like SP and Commissioner of Police who failed to prvent the contempt of court’s guidelines and those who try to justify the illegal acts of delinquent police officers are also liable for action under contempt and prosecution under IPC. [ Re: M. P. Dwivedi AIR 1996 SC 2299, Ramratti, Sakhtula and Sona Vs. State MANU/PH/0200/2016]
The misuse of police machinery for the ulterior purposes and to help the Minister in serving his private and personal grudge, is an act of misappropriation of public funds and tax payers money and it is an offence punishable under sec 409 r/w 120(B),34 of IPC.
Adv. Kapil Sibbal, who is Congress leader and MP of Rajyasabha cannot appear for any issue directly or indirectly related with the congress party as there is a specific provision in the Bar Council Rules On Professional Standards, "8. an advocate should not appear in or before any judicial authority, for or against any establishment if he is a member of the management of the establishment."
Human Rights Activist Mursalin Shaikh has filed an intervention Application in the Writ Petition filed by Mr. Arnab Goswami requesting the court to consider the case in larger public interest regarding the issue of wanton breach of Rule of law and for formulating the guidelines to Police and Magistrates/Judges in Maharashtra for insuring protection of their fundamental rights.
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