Madhavan Vs. Sub-Inspector of Police  INSC 378 (22 September 1993)
S. (J) Mohan, S. (J) Venkatachalliah, M.N.(Cj)
1994 AIR 1033 1994 SCC (1) 536 JT 1993 (5) 375 1993 SCALE (3)864
Judgment of the Court was delivered by MOHAN, J.- The special leave petition is
directed against the order made in Crl. Misc. Petition No. 328 of 1988 before
the High Court of Kerala. The respondent herein filed the said Crl. Misc.
Petition against the officers of Cannanore Town Police and others alleging
criminal assault on his printing press. In that petition he sought a direction
to investigate into the matter by an impartial agency.
short facts are: Maniyeri Madhavan is a journalist and is the editor of
newspaper by name Sudinam Evening Daily. He complained of an attack on his
person and property at the instance of the police officers of the State. The
High Court in a writ petition filed by him considered it necessary that the
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Northern Range, be directed to look into the
complaint of the petitioner making a representation in that behalf. He
approached this Court praying for an investigation by the CBI.
the Judgment and Order dated April 8, 1989 of the Kerala High Court in Crl.
Misc. No. 328 of 1989 537 This Court did not give the direction. However, a
direction was given that instead of the Deputy Inspector General, Northern Range, Mr M.G.A. Raman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Central Range, would supervise the investigation. It was also directed
that a case be registered on the basis of representation submitted by the
petitioner to Mr Raman and the investigation be completed within a period of
two months from the date of the receipt of such representation. Pursuant to this
order, the representation was made to Mr Raman by the petitioner. Mr Raman did
not complete the investigation within the time- frame. On March 11, 1991 the Government of Kerala filed an
application seeking extension of time and certain directions consequent upon Mr
Raman ceasing to be inching of the investigation. At this stage, the petitioner
moved this Court on March
13, 1992 praying that
the earlier order entrusting the investigation to the State Police be withdrawn
and the matter be investigated by the CBI. On September 3, 1992 this Court
directed the Home Secretary to file an affidavit mentioning the stage of the
investigation and also to specify the names of officers of the rank of
Inspectors General of Police, who could be entrusted with the investigation, if
need arose. The Home Secretary ignored the order. He asked the Under Secretary
to file an affidavit. This Court took serious notice of this and passed the
are afraid, in this case the officers concerned of the State seem to manifest a
disturbing degree of indifference. We take serious note of these lapses. Apart
from considering as to which agency should now investigate this serious offence
alleged against the State Police by a journalist, we would also like the State
Government to explain why Mr Raman who was in the midst of the investigation,
was relieved and sent on deputation without the orders of this Court.
meanwhile, the principal accused, the Superintendent of Police, has been
elevated as a Deputy Inspector General of Police. Mr Raman himself will have to
explain as to why he did not complete the investigation in time; allowed time
to lapse and according to the petitioner, of allowing evidence to be lost with
ulterior motives and abandon the supervision of the investigation. These lapses
in the investigation seem to lend credence to the grievance of the petitioner
that Mr Raman himself, being a State Police Officer, has not been able to
distance himself from the interests of these accused of high- handedness against
the petitioner. The Home Secretary will explain why he did not obey the orders
of this Court dated September
3, 1992 which
expressly directed him to file an X X affidavit.
direct the Home Secretary, State of Kerala, Mr Raman the then Deputy Inspector
General of Police (now working as the Vigilance Officer of the Hotel
Corporation of India) and the Chief Secretary representing the State, to show
cause why action should not be taken against them for the lapses and omissions
in obeying the orders of this Court. The Home Secretary as also Mr Raman will
appear personally before this Court while the Chief Secretary may be
represented by his 538 counsel. Notices in the appropriate form shall issue to
them for proceedings of contempt of court."
Regarding the grievance of the petitioner it was ordered thus:
the meanwhile, the interests of the petitioner have suffered. His travails in
pursuit of an honest investigation of his serious grievance against the police
officers of the State have not ended. He has been running from pillar to post
to have his serious grievance that the Superintendent of Police virtually
destroyed his Press, investigated. We think the least that we should do for him
immediately is to compensate him in terms of costs for his being compelled to
approach the Court repetitively for relief.
direct the State of Kerala to pay to the petitioner a sum of Rs
10,000 towards costs, now tentatively assessed, in addition to whatever damages
that may be determined finally.
matter be called on October
Home Secretary and Mr Raman, the then Deputy Inspector General of Police (now
Vigilance Officer, Hotel Corporation of India) shall be present in Court personally on that day.
it appears appropriate that the conduct and progress of the investigation of
the case is such as not to inspire confidence, we recall the operative part of
our order dated December 22, 1989 and direct the CBI to investigate the
complaint of the petitioner, complete the investigation and make a report to
this Court within four months from today.
the records of the investigation including the representation filed by the
petitioner before Mr Raman shall be transferred by the State to the CBI
promptly for further action." (emphasis supplied) 4.Pursuant to this the
CBI have filed its investigation report dated May 5, 1993. We will extract the relevant portions of the report:
investigation evidence has been collected to show that prior to his arrest Shri
Madhavan had published several news items in his evening daily critical of
police activity. This seems to have enraged the District Police Administration
in general and accused 8, the then SP of the District, in particular, as some
personal attacks were also made. The Police were waiting for an opportunity to
get him. They got their chance when he published in his newspaper on February
2, 1988 the name, parentage, caste and other details of a rape victim, Kumari Manja,
daughter of Chandu, an adivasi girl hailing from Thirunelli, Wayanad District, Kerala.
Police managed to procure a complaint typed against Shri Madhavan in the name
of the rape victim and her parents and got their thumb impressions on the same
alleging that the publication of the identity of the rape victim and her
parents, had caused them pain and loss of prestige. On receipt of this
complaint through SP/Wayanad, accused 8, ordered registration of a case against
Shri Madhavan in Kannur Town Police Station. Crime No. 50 of 1988 was
registered by A-1 on February
12, 1988 at 14.30
hours under Section 228-A IPC and 7(1)(d) of Protection of Civil Rights Act. On
the same 539 day in the evening a police party consisting of accused 1, 3, 4,
5, 6, 17 and 18 went to the office of Sudinam and arrested Shri Madhavan. They
did not reveal the grounds his arrest though asked for. They took him in the
police jeep driven by A-17 through a circuitous route to Kannur Police Station
and enroute they manhandled him. Accused-6 followed the jeep in the personal Contessa
car of A-8.
Police Station the body search of Shri Madhavan was conducted by A-1 and he was
put in the lock-up. The Prisoner's Search Register of Kannur Town Police
Station has a forged signature of Shri Madhavan, purported to have been put by
him at the time of his body search. Since, in the meanwhile, news of his arrest
was known in the town, his colleagues and relatives went to the Police Station
to get him released on bail. However, they were chased out by A- 1 and party.
Three of them then personally met A-8 and pleaded for bail, but they were also
rebuffed. Shri Madhavan was produced before the local Magistrate in the early
hours of next day and he complained to the Magistrate of the ill treatment at
the hands of Police. The Magistrate recorded a separate complaint, but did not
take any further action. He ordered his release on bail on personal bond.
are 3 witnesses who were passing on the road at that time and heard Madhavan's
cries from the jeep. There are no eyewitnesses to prove beating of the
complainant while in police custody. However, there are a number of witnesses
who had seen him in the Police Station with bleeding injuries on the lips.
produced before the Magistrate at about 4.30 a.m. on February 13,
1988 he had complained
to the Magistrate about the police beating and the Magistrate had recorded his
complaint and also observed the blood stains on the shirt. The Medical Officer
who treated him in the Hospital has also said that he was complaining of pain
all over the body and had an abrasion on the upper lip. It is also in his
evidence that the SP i.e. accused 8 had tried to put pressure on the Medical
Officer to get the person discharged from the Hospital.
he was arrested, as many as six persons, all respectable journalists and an
advocate, had gone to the Police Station to get Madhavan released on bail. They
were driven out by the police on the ground that the SP had instructed them not
to release him on bail. Three of them had gone to meet the SP personally in his
office for the same purpose, but their request was not accepted. It has also
come out in the evidence that the SP had remained in the office till late in
the night and was monitoring the progress in the matter of his arrest and the
has come out in the evidence of several eyewitnesses including the,
Sub-Divisional Police Officer and one SI, who'were not parties to the
ill-treatment of the journalist.
4 and 5 were working directly under the control of the SP, accused 8. With a
view to concealing their involvement which would 540 indirectly point towards
involvement of the SP, the records of the Armed Reserve Camp at Kannur were
tampered with and new page was substituted in the General Diary to show as if
these two policemen were present in the camp. The fact that the page was
changed has been proved by the evidence of the Superintendent of the Government
Press where the said diary had been printed. There are other interpolations in
the GD to show the presence of these persons in the AR camp. These interpolations
have been done by A- 14, 15 and 16 at the instance of A-8.
evidence collected reveals the commission of offences of criminal conspiracy,
voluntarily causing hurt, wrongful confinement, in attempt to wrongfully
confine a person, mischief causing damage, forgery and causing disappearance of
evidence of offence, including giving false information to screen offender,
which are punishable under Section 120-B read with 323, 342, 357, 427, 465 and
all these aspects, it has been decided that A- 1, A-2, A-3, A-4, A-5, A-6, A-8,
A- 14, A- 1 5, A- 1 6, A- 1 7 and A- 1 8 be prosecuted for offences under
Section 120-B read with 323, 342, 357, 427, 465 and 201 IPC, after getting the
sanction of the Government of Kerala under Section 197(i)(b) and if necessary
under Section 197(3) of CrPC." 5.Before us it was argued on behalf of the
petitioner- journalist that the report may be accepted and the matter be
proceeded with before the appropriate forum.
counsel for the respondent would urge that the case has been developed by the
petitioner from stage to stage when 2 FIRs are properly scrutinised. A mere cut
on the lip, has been magnified and made much of. Then again, the petitioner
would take advantage of the differences between the police officer and his wife
and go to the extent of citing his wife as a witness on his behalf. This
clearly exhibits his vengeful attitude. In view of all this, the trial could
not be held. This Court which directed the report from CBI can always say that
no trial need take place and protect the police officers.
argument was that the Delhi Special Police Establishment cannot investigate
into the matter unless the Government of Kerala accords consent for the
exercise of powers under Section 6 of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
have given our careful consideration to the above submissions. We do not think
we can come to the rescue of the police officers. Whether they are guilty or
not of the offences for which they are charged is a matter to be established in
a criminal trial. Therefore, we refrain from making any observation.
regards jurisdiction of the members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment,
we do not think the procedure under Section 6 need be followed where this Court
exercises jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution. Even otherwise,
we find a notification has been issued by Government of Kerala to the following
"GOVERNMENT OF KERALA HOME (F) DEPARTMENT Notification No. 8021/Fl/92/Home
Thiruvananthapuram, Dated October 3, 1992 In pursuance of the provisions of
Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Central Act 25
of 1946), the Government of Kerala hereby accord consent to the extension of
powers and jurisdiction of the members of the Delhi Special Police
Establishment in the whole of the State of Kerala for investigation of the
complaint of Shri Maniyeri Madhavan, Editor, Sudinam Daily Kannur as ordered by
the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in their order dated September 24, 1992 in
SLP No. 2755 of 1988.
order of the Governor) Sd/- C.P. Nair Commr. & Secretary to Government
Explanatory Note (This does not form part of the notification, but is intended
to indicate its general purport).
Supreme Court of India, in their order dated September 24, 1992, in SLP No.
2755 of 1988 has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate
the complaint of Shri Maniyeri Madhavan, Editor, Sudinam Daily, Kannur against
the attacks made on him and his property allegedly at the instigation of
certain police officers of the State of Kerala, and to submit a report within
four months. Hence this notification." 10.All that this Court has to do is
to merely record the report and let the law take its course. The special leave
petition is ordered on the above terms.