“By one case of false implication of an innocent, rule of law loses one exponent (supporter) and a rebel with defiance towards rule of law is ready. Poor investigation with tainted prosecution is perfect recipe for such eventuality.”
Directing the state to compensate accused in an abduction case for false implication, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has observed that if because of poor investigation and tainted prosecution, the accused suffers and it is apparent that he is innocent then he deserves compensation from the state under Right to Life.
Justice SA Dharmadhikari and Justice Anand Pathak allowed an appeal filed by two accused who were convicted by the trial court under Section 364-A of IPC r/w Section 11/13 of the Madhya Pradesh Dacoity Vipran Prabhabit Khestra Act. They were sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court.
While acquitting the accused, the court observed that it is a case of false implication. “Either the complaint filed by the complainant and the victim was bereft of truth or prosecution could not able to discharge its functions properly and just to cover up their fallacy, falsely implicated the present appellants, who were already in the jail in some other case and that is the travesty of justice,” the bench said.
The bench then observed that valuable period of 12 years of these persons has been consumed at the altar of false implication due to defective investigation and casually conducted trial with a poor appreciation of evidence by the trial court. “If appellants look in hindsight then the distance covered by them between this period is been full of painful memories, remorse and agony,” the bench said.
The court also observed that Right to Life is a fundamental right enshrined under Chapter III of the Constitution of India and Preamble of our Constitution gives priority to secure justice to citizen at the top of all virtues, therefore, it is incumbent upon the state to take care of its citizens, when a citizen is severely bruised by the organs of the state, therefore, they deserve compensation because of poor investigation and tainted prosecution.
“Our criminal Jurisprudence gives more stress over avoiding of false implication of an innocent to the extent where hundred guilty may go scot- free. The spirit behind the same is very pious. Even otherwise, by one case of false implication of an innocent, rule of law loses one exponent (supporter) and a rebel with defiance towards rule of law is ready. Poor investigation with tainted prosecution is perfect recipe for such eventuality,” the bench added.
Granting a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to the acquitted accused, the bench further said: “Time has come when the Rule of Law is to be included as one of the essential components of infrastructure like road, water, electricity etc., otherwise these components of infrastructure and development would be sacrificed at the altar of misgovernance and lawlessness. Bridging of schism between rule of law and lawlessness is the need of the hours. It is expected from the Law Department, Home Department and Prosecution Department of the State Government that they will create a mechanism for scientific and methodical police investigation and scientific and methodical prosecution of the accused so that citizen may get justice and spirit of Right to Access Justice is fulfilled. A constant training programme or continuous education with latest technology be employed by the said authorities so that investigation and prosecution agency may march with the time and people at large be assured of their empowerment by way of Right to Access Justice.”
The court also said although no such provision exists in the CrPC for compensating the accused, certainly the state cannot wriggle out from its constitutional and tortious liability.
Another bench comprising Justice Vivek Agarwal and Justice GS Ahluwalia had made a similar observation while acquitting two persons, who spent more than a decade in jail, during the pendency of trial and appeal proceedings.