In a scathing indictment of police misconduct, the Supreme Court admonished the Tamil Nadu Police for tampering with prosecution witnesses in a criminal case. The Court directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to conduct a thorough investigation into the actions of the police officials involved and take appropriate legal action against those found guilty.
The case in question revolved around the testimony of witnesses (referred to as PW-1 to PW-5) crucial to the prosecution’s case. Shockingly, it emerged that these witnesses were summoned to the police station and coerced into providing testimony favorable to the prosecution, just a day before their scheduled appearance in court. This blatant attempt to manipulate witness testimony was deemed an egregious violation of the judicial process by the Supreme Court.
In its scathing rebuke, the Bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal condemned the police’s actions as a “blatant act” of witness tampering. The Court highlighted the grave consequences of such interference, noting that the tainted testimony of the witnesses would have to be discarded due to the possibility of police coercion. This interference not only undermined the integrity of the judicial process but also constituted a gross misuse of police power.
The Court emphasized that the police’s role in the criminal justice system is to uphold the law and ensure impartiality, not to manipulate evidence or influence witness testimony. The justices underscored that such actions erode public trust in the justice system and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s directive to the DGP to conduct an inquiry and take disciplinary action against the culpable officers underscores the seriousness with which the judiciary views police misconduct. It sends a clear message that those entrusted with upholding the law must themselves adhere to the highest standards of integrity and impartiality.
The ruling serves as a reminder of the judiciary’s role in safeguarding the principles of justice and fairness, and its commitment to holding accountable those who seek to undermine them. It reaffirms the fundamental principle that justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done.
In conclusion, the Supreme Court’s unequivocal condemnation of police interference in witness testimony reaffirms the principle that no one, not even law enforcement officers, is above the law. The ruling underscores the judiciary’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the fair administration of justice.

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