Courts Update Person roaming free due to non-completion of investigation in...

Person roaming free due to non-completion of investigation in time is ‘undesirable’: Gauhati HC

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Guwahati, Jun 12 (ILNS) The Guahati High Court has ruled that it will be undesirable that a person against whom substantial evidences are available, will roam free on default bail because of the non-completion of the investigation in time.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice N Kotiswar Singh made the above observation yesterday, while hearing a petition filed by a man, alleging that his minor daughter was burnt to death on April 22, 2021 by her employers, where she was working as a domestic help since the last about five years.

An FIR was lodged by the brother-in-law of the petitioner on the same day of the incident at Raha Police Station. It was further alleged by the petitioner that her daughter, who was around 12-year-old, was also sexually assaulted by her employers, residents of Raha under Nagaon district.

According to the petitioner, the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights also had made similar allegation of the girl being sexually abused before she was killed.

The petitioner also made serious allegations about a disturbing illegal practice of employing small children as domestic help in many districts of Assam, including Nagaon, for which the Court opined that can be considered after obtaining necessary information and inputs from appropriate authorities like the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR), Assam State Legal Services Authority and such other organisations, which are looking after the welfare of children.

BK Mahajan, Counsel for the petitioner, yesterday submitted that perusal of the affidavit of the state revealed that though the authorities are taking steps in terms of directions issued by the Court, they are seeking more time, to which the petitioner has no serious objection.

He, however, submitted that it has been noticed in many cases that because of the delay in completing the investigation, sometimes the principal accused against whom there are substantial evidences, get default bail because of inability of the investigating authority to complete the investigation within the statutory period.

Accordingly, he submitted that in present case, the investigating authority may be directed to submit necessary charge sheet within the statutory period and if necessary, continue with the investigation and file a supplementary charge sheet.

The Bench, while considering the issue, said the Court expects that the authorities will keep this aspect in mind as it will be undesirable that a person against whom substantial evidences are available, will roam free on default bail because of the non-completion of the investigation in time.

D Nath, Additional Senior Government Advocate, Assam ensured the High Court that this aspect will be taken care of by the investigating authority for expeditious completion of the investigation.

As regards direction issued by the High Court relating to employment of child as domestic help, Mr Nath submitted that this is an aspect, where the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Assam State Legal Services Authority as well as Labour Department of the State Government, who are not impleaded as respondents in this petition, also play important roles, for which necessary coordinated actions are being taken, for which more time would be required.

“This Court is of the view that it may not be necessary to implead all the concerned agencies or authorities, but the Court appreciates the endeavour made by the Home Department to undertake a coordinated action with the above agencies to deal with this menace of child labour and the Court hopes that appropriate remedial actions will be taken in due course.

“However, this exercise undertaken should not be a cause for any delay for timely completion of the investigation”, the order read. The Court fixed June 11 as the next date of hearing.

On May 25, the High Court had directed the Superintendent of Police, Nagaon, Assam to monitor the investigation of the Case on a day-to-day basis. ILNS/SHV/RJ

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