Rajasthan HC queries police on contempt for breaching Supreme Court rules on commercial arrests

Last Updated: 04-12-2023 11:45:10am
 Rajasthan HC queries police on contempt for breaching Supreme Court rules on commercial arrests

The Rajasthan High Court has recently issued notices to police officials, including the Director General of Police, in response to a contempt petition. The petitioner, a businessman, and his family members allege a violation of Arnesh Kumar guidelines and the Supreme Court's mandate regarding arrests in commercial cases. The contempt case, currently before Justice Narendra Singh Dhaddha, focuses on 'Guideline No.7' of Arnesh Kumar, empowering the High Court to entertain contempt proceedings for guideline violations related to arrests.

The petitioner, a partner in a cyber firm, was arrested by Jalupura Police under Sections 420, 409, and 120 B of IPC for a 2016 commercial transaction. Despite the significant delay in filing the FIR, the petitioner's counsel, Advocate Abhinav Sharma, contends that the Supreme Court's directive in Md. Asfak Alam v. The State Of Jharkhand & Anr. (2023) has not been complied with. The directive required explicit notification of Arnesh Kumar guidelines by High Courts for lower courts and DGPs for police officers within 8 weeks. The petitioner asserts that the DGP of Rajasthan has not issued the required notification, despite the lapse of the allotted time and personal urging from the petitioner.

Referring to Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U. P & Ors (AIR 2014 SC 187), the petitioner highlights the absence of a preliminary inquiry and the failure to issue a notice under Section 41-A in a commercial dispute. The petitioner accuses private recovery agents, unrelated to the complaint, of accompanying police officers during the arrest. Additionally, the petitioner claims the denial of the right to communicate the arrest to a chosen person, leaving family members uncertain about the petitioner's status.

The petitioner contends that the police did not prepare a checklist before or during the arrest process, violating procedural norms. Advocate Abhinav Sharma argues that the petitioner's fundamental rights were violated by the immediate arrest without a preliminary investigation in a commercial matter, the disregard of Section 41-A CrPC, and the denial of the opportunity for anticipatory bail.

The contempt petition reveals that the petitioner has reported the matter to the DGP and the Jaipur Police Commissioner, urging disciplinary action against the Station House Officers and Investigating Officer in Jalapura. The petitioner alleges the DGP's failure to issue the required notification despite personal requests.

The relief sought includes liquidated damages for each petitioner's humiliation, High Court supervision to ensure Arnesh Kumar guidelines' compliance, and action against erring police officers under Section 166A CrPC. The petition requests the prominent display of guidelines in police stations, jails, and sub-jails to inform those under trial of their rights. Furthermore, the petitioner seeks the removal of contemnors from official duties until deemed fit by the court, with orientation at the National Judicial Academy.

Notably, the petitioner has submitted a separate representation to the Chief Justice of the High Court, urging action against the judicial magistrate responsible for the allegedly illegal remand orders. The petitioner claims that the bail application, filed promptly after remand, was disposed of without fully hearing the petitioner's counsel.





TAGS: Humiliation Section 166A CrPC Police officers' action Display of guidelines High Court supervision National Judicial Academy Chief Justice of the High Court

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