Ravindra Pal Singh Vs
Santosh Kumar Jaiswal & Ors.
J U D G E M E N T
This transfer petition has been filed by the father of Ranbir Singh (hereinafter
referred to as `the deceased'), who according to the prosecution, was killed by
the respondents in a fake encounter. On 2nd of July, 2009, the deceased who was
a MBA student had gone to Dehradun in search of a job and stayed at Digambar
Jain Mandir, Dharmasala. On 3rd of July, 2009, he was arrested by the Police of
Police Station Dalanwala at around 1312 hrs. According to the prosecution, this
can be seen from the record of Global Positioning System (GPS) log of the vehicle
of SHO, Dalanwala. At around 1530 hrs on the same day, the deceased was killed
in a cold blooded manner by pumping 29 bullets into him by the police officials.
It is the case of the
prosecution that Santosh Kumar Jaiswal (A1) had fired 2 bullets from his service
revolver, Neeraj Kumar, SI (A4) fired 2 bullets from his revolver; Chandra
Mohan Singh Rawat (A6) fired 6 bullets from his pistol; Gopal Dutt Bhatt (A2) fired
7 bullets from his pistol; NItin Chouhan (A5) fired 6 bullets from his pistol;
Rajesh Bisht (A3) fired 7 bullets from his pistol and Ajit Singh (A7) fired 2 bullets
from AK-47. It is also alleged that 5 bullets were fired by police officials from
the 9 mm Pistol, which was subsequently planted by them on the deceased to camouflage
the fake encounter into a real encounter. The CFSL Report has confirmed that 29
bullets were fired at the deceased. Seventeen bullets hit him from a very close
range as there was blackening surrounding the wounds.
It was also opined that
atleast 9 bullets were fired at the deceased from actual distance of 3 feet.
The father of the deceased was informed by media persons that his son had been shot
down by the police at Dehradun. He reached Dehradun in the night itself. When he
tried to contact the police officials, he was threatened by one of the police officers,
namely, Ajay Singh C.O. Dalanwala that if he tries to interfere in the matter,
he would also be eliminated like his son. On 4th July, 2009, the complainant went
to the hospital where he was again threatened by another police officer, namely
Thereafter, the complainant
took the body of his son to Meerut to perform his last rites. After performing
the last rites of his son, the complainant came back to Dehradun and got registered
FIR No.101 of 2009 dated 6th July, 2009. As the investigation was not
progressing due to the influence of the local police, the matter was entrusted
to the CBI for investigation. However, the police officials continue to exert influence
even on the investigation which was being conducted by the CBI.
In order to cover up the fake encounter, the deceased had been made an accused
in a case of theft and dacoity by the police officials. It was alleged that
Ranbir Singh and his co-accused were planning to commit robbery in the house of
one Kavita Saxena situated at Madhuban Enclave, Mohini Road, Dehradun. Ranbir Singh,
the deceased, was suspected to be in conspiracy with his friend Shekhar Tyagi, Ram
Kumar, Ashok Panwar and Amit Bhatnagar. In order to commit the robbery, the deceased
and his friends had procured and were in possession of lethal weapons. The deceased
and his companions were said to be in possession of one katta.
They had reached
Dehradun on 2nd July, 2009. They had planned to commit the robbery on 3rd July,
2009. It was further the case of the respondents that the deceased and his friends
had stayed at Flat No.9 of Jain Dharamshala, Gandhi Road, Dehradun on the night
of 2nd July, 2009. On 3rd July, 2009, they left the Jain Dharamshala at about 1230
hrs. At that time, the deceased and his friend were carrying a black bag containing
katta, ropes and "cello tape" etc. on a motor cycle.
They were being followed
by Ram Kumar. Ashok had been sent to see the lane in which the house of Kavita
Saxena was located. They were waiting for Ashok to come back with the information
at a place near Gurudwara on Mohini road. At about 1245 hrs. they were met by G.D.
Bhatt, S.I. Incharge Araghar Chowki who was on routine patrol checking. Whilst
respondent No. 2 was checking the deceased and his friends, an altercation broke
out between them. In the altercation, the deceased attacked respondent No. 2 and
snatched his service pistol. At that stage, a passerby, Anjum Parvej Khan intervened
and fired a shot in the air from his licenced pistol.
The deceased and his companion
fled away on a motor cycle along with service pistol which they had stolen from
S.I. G.D. Bhatt. According to the respondents, the deceased was killed in an encounter
with the police personnel in cross firing. Consequently, an FIR was registered
against the deceased and his associates on 3rd July, 2009 under Section 394, IPC.
Another FIR was also registered under Section 307 IPC against the deceased and
his associates. The motor cycle was also recovered from the place where the deceased
was killed in the encounter. According to the respondents, even the motor cycle
had earlier been stolen by the deceased and his associates. Subsequently, chargesheet
had been filed against the deceased and his associates under Sections 120B,
392, 333 and 411 IPC.
is the case of the respondents that the transfer petition is wholly misconceived.
The investigation has been transferred to the CBI. The CBI has submitted a
closure report in the case registered against the deceased and his companion. Clearly,
therefore, the police officers cannot be said to be exerting any influence on
the proceedings in court. Once the investigation has been entrusted to the CBI,
the local police has no further role to play. Further more, answering respondents
are no longer posted at Dehradun. Even otherwise the respondents are not high officials
and cannot exert any influence on the State. One of the respondents is an
Inspector. Five respondents are Sub-Inspectors and the rest are in the rank of Constables.
The impartiality of the State is also apparent that all the respondents have been
transferred out of Dehradun.
justification given by the respondents is, however, controverted by the
complainant illustrating the influence wielded by the respondents. It is highlighted
that even the transfer of the case to the CBI has made no difference. In fact, none
of the police officers were even suspended. All the accused had managed to
create such circumstances which led to the High Court granting bail to the respondents.
The complainant apprehends that the prosecuting agency at Dehradun will not properly
conduct the case. It will not be able to resist the influence of the accused.
The influence of the accused is such that the complainant was not able to even engage
an advocate to file application for cancellation of bail in the High Court against
the respondents. Even the CBI counsel was deliberately absent when the
application for bail was heard by the High court only to help the respondents.
have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length. We are of the considered
opinion that the apprehensions expressed by the complainant, father of the
deceased, cannot be said to be unfounded. Mr. Sushil Kumar, learned counsel appearing
for the respondents submitted that the deceased and his friends were in possession
of lethal weapons at a very crucial and sensitive time. According to the
learned counsel, on that very day the President of India was due to visit Dehradun,
therefore, there was very intensive checking. At the relevant time, when the
deceased and his friends were stopped for checking they became nervous. There was
a scuffle between the deceased and the police and in the process, the deceased snatched
the service revolver from the Inspector G.D. Bhatt. As a consequence, there was
a genuine encounter in which unfortunately the son of the complainant was hit by
some bullets in the cross fire. Learned counsel further submitted that merely because
the accused in the case are police officials would not lead to a presumption
that there would not be a fair trial in the State of U.P. He submitted that all
the concerned police officials have been transferred out of Dehradun. They have
in fact been put on non active duties. In the event, the case is transferred
out of State of U.P. it would cause injustice to respondents. According to the learned
counsel the respondents are low ranking police officials who would not be able to
bear the expenses in defending themselves at a court which is situated a long
our opinion, given the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, it is
necessary to ensure that there is no possibility of any undue influence being exerted
by the respondents on the prosecution. The complainant has made a serious grievance
about the manner in which the prosecution has been conducted. We would refrain
from recording any firm opinion on the issue, at this stage. However, at the
same time it must be ensured that the prosecution witnesses are able to depose without
any fear of repercussions. This can only be ensured by transferring the criminal
case out of the area in which no allegations could be made of undue influence,
against the prosecution.
prayer made by the petitioner was for transfer of this case to the CBI Court at
Ghaziabad/Lucknow. However, the accused had expressed similar apprehension about
undue influence being exerted by the petitioner, if the case is transferred to
the Court at Ghaziabad/Lucknow. Therefore, purely in the interest of justice, we
deem it appropriate to transfer the case to Delhi. Case Crime No. 3 of 2010 titled
State through CBI vs. S.K. Jaiswal is transferred from the Court of Special
Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Dehradun to the Court of Special Judge, CBI, Delhi,
for trial or its assignment to an appropriate court, as the Special Judge may
consider it fit and proper.
[Surinder Singh Nijjar]