In a recent development, the Delhi High Court has taken a strong stance against the absence of investigating officers (IOs) during court hearings related to the cases they have investigated. Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar issued an order directing the city police commissioner to ensure that IOs are present in court whenever a case pertaining to their investigation is taken up for hearing.
The court’s decision came after a police officer, representing a petition seeking the quashing of a First Information Report (FIR), failed to provide satisfactory answers to the court’s queries. Expressing its dismay, the court highlighted that it has become a “routine, invariable practice” for substitute officials, who are often not well-versed with the facts of the case, to appear in court while the main IOs remain absent.
Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar directed the Commissioner of Police to take immediate action to rectify the situation. The court emphasized that the IOs who have conducted the investigation should be present in court during the hearings of cases related to their respective police stations.
The court’s decision reflects its concern over the lack of accountability and knowledge displayed by substitute officials who are unfamiliar with the details of the cases they represent. This issue undermines the efficiency and fairness of the judicial process, as the IOs possess crucial information and insights that are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the cases.
In a specific instance where a petitioner sought the quashing of an FIR based on a settlement regarding alleged cruelty by their estranged spouse, the court disposed of the petition and quashed the FIR in light of the settlement. The court deemed it unnecessary to keep the case pending since a resolution had been reached. However, it emphasized the importance of IOs’ presence in court to ensure proper handling of cases in the future.
The Delhi High Court’s directive serves as a reminder of the significance of the IOs’ active participation in court proceedings. Their presence guarantees a thorough examination of the cases they have investigated, enabling a fair and just resolution. By demanding accountability and adherence to this principle, the court aims to maintain the integrity of the justice system and uphold the rights of all parties involved.