In a recent development, the Delhi High Court intervened in a contentious matter, expunging directions issued by a Sessions Judge against certain police officials. Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar, presiding over the case, emphasized the importance of refraining from making disparaging remarks against individuals or authorities unless such remarks are necessary for the case or the party in question has the opportunity to defend themselves.

The case at hand Involved scathing remarks made against police officials by the Sessions Judge without substantial evidence to indicate any malafides on their part. The Court highlighted that even if the officials were perceived to have made errors, it was within the purview of the Sessions Judge to bring these to the attention of the Police Commissioner, rather than issuing directions for disciplinary action.

Justice Bhatnagar cautioned against the encroachment of administrative functions by the judiciary and recommended that if any lapses were noted, these should have been recorded with instructions to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The petition was filed by the police officials against whom adverse remarks and directions were issued by the Sessions Judge. These officials were part of a raiding team that encountered obstruction from accused individuals during a raid, where the accused allegedly attempted to fire at the raiding team. Subsequently, the accused were found in possession of illegal arms and ammunition, leading to the filing of an FIR under various sections of the IPC and Arms Act.

Despite this, the Sessions Judge acquitted the accused, casting doubt on the credibility of the raiding team’s evidence and suggesting false implication. Shockingly, the Judge directed the Commissioner of Police to take disciplinary action against the members of the raiding team, including those who had retired, potentially affecting their pensions.

Justice Bhatnagar, upon examining the Sessions Judge’s judgment, criticized the prejudgment of the actions and inactions of the investigating agency and police officials. He pointed out that no opportunity was provided to the officials to present their side, accusing them of falsely implicating the accused without sufficient grounds. The Judge expressed concern over the language and implications of the directions, which seemed to suggest that the police officials were considered suspects in the crime along with the accused.

Consequently, the Delhi High Court allowed the petition filed by the police officials, ordering the expunging of adverse directions passed by the Sessions Judge. Advocates Vikas Arora, Radhika Arora, and Abhay Sachan represented the petitioners, while ASC Sanjeev Bhandari, alongside Advocates Sushant Bali, Kunal Mittal, and Saurabh Tanwar, appeared on behalf of the State.

The High Court’s intervention serves as a reminder of the importance of fair and impartial judgments, cautioning against making damaging remarks or issuing directions without providing the concerned parties with an opportunity to present their case. The expunging of the directions underscores the need for judicial prudence and fairness in dealing with matters involving law enforcement officials, ensuring that due process is adhered to in delivering justice.

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