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Court decries shoddy probes

Ranchi, Feb. 20: Jharkhand High Court today pulled up the home department and its prosecution agency for lax and improper investigations into cases before the trial court.

A division bench of Justices D. N. Patel and S. Chandrashekhar, while hearing a criminal appeal filed by one Dilip Kumar Bhuiyan, directed officers investigating criminal cases to be more vigilant so that the accused did not end up being benefited because of their callous attitude.

The court observed that non-examination of the investigating officer was a big setback for the prosecution and was a benefit in disguise for the accused. In most cases, police officers conducting investigations were never examined for which the accused were let off in the superior court, the bench observed.

While hearing Bhuiyan’s case, who challenged his conviction for murder by the Ghatshila sessions court, the court observed that the investigating officer was not examined. In the absence of evidence from a police officer, the place of occurrence of the alleged crime, and the manner in which it was said to have occurred, was in serious dispute.

Though a case of murder, the prosecution ought to have concentrated in bringing home the guilt but on the contrary, contradictory evidence of witnesses had been recorded. This, the court noted, had prejudiced the case of the prosecution.

The bench granted bail to Bhuiyan giving him the benefit of doubt and ordered that its directions with regard to proper probe and conduct of trial be communicated to all lower courts and the police.

Dilip Bhuiyan has been alleged to have assaulted and killed one Bishwajeet Bhuiyan at 10am while returning from a farm on August 18, 2009. Dilip is said to have assaulted Bishwajeet using a bamboo stick meant to carry bundles of paddy.

After an FIR was registered by Bishwajeet’s brother, the police arrested Dilip along with a few other accused.

The trial court found Dilip guilty and convicted him of committing murder on August 9, 2012.

Later, Dilip appealed to the high court.

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