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Judiciary Must Be On Guard To See Police Don’t Exceed Authority: Former Top Court Judge

Personal liberty is at all times pressing, Justice Lokur mentioned (File)

New Delhi:

Former Supreme Court Judge Madan B Lokur mentioned on Tuesday that judiciary must be on guard to make sure that the police doesn’t exceed authority in an investigation and see there’s a truthful probe. His comment comes amid country-wide outrage over police atrocities.

He additionally mentioned legislation is being misused with circumstances of sedition being filed in opposition to journalists and cautioned that magistrates mustn’t “blindly trust” the prosecution.

Justice (Retd) Lokur mentioned legal guidelines are misinterpreted, each on the stage of investigation and the submitting of chargesheets however the judiciary must be further vigilant and never go merely on the idea of the prosecution.

“It’s important for the judiciary to be on guard; to see that the police is not exceeding its authority. They should examine the FIR, the case diary, find out what is going on and then proceed,” Justice Lokur mentioned.

He was talking at a webinar — “Shooting the Messenger: The ‘Chilling Effect’ of Criminalising Journalism”, organised by a authorized information portal.

Referring to the Tuticorin incident, the place a person and his son died after being allegedly thrashed by the police final week, Justice Lokur mentioned that originally, the police mentioned that that they had a coronary heart situation and now it has come out that some proof was deleted.

The Justice of the Peace can not blindly belief the prosecution and there must be a transparent utility of thoughts, Justice Lokur mentioned.

“With these things happening, it’s difficult to trust the police and the investigation being carried out by them,” he mentioned.

Speaking about circumstances being filed in opposition to journalists, Justice Lokur mentioned that on this backdrop, a journalist isn’t going to have the ability to belief the equity of an investigation.

“Then, there is misuse of law. There are examples where there is no question of sedition, but the investigations make out that there is a seditious act involved,” he mentioned.

“Take for example Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Just because there’s the mention of unlawful activities, it doesn’t mean that the Magistrate or the Judge should throw up his hands,” Justice Lokur mentioned, including {that a} prima facie case must be made out.

On the difficulty of deciding pressing issues by the highest courtroom, he mentioned that this has been recognized for a really very long time.

“Bail purposes are pressing issues, demolition of property is an pressing matter. There are a big class of circumstances which may be categorised as pressing. This factor about what’s pressing and what’s not pressing is totally misplaced.

“For some courts to say that bail issues should not pressing defies logic. Personal liberty is at all times pressing. A courtroom can not say that they will take it up after a few weeks and you need to dangle round in jail for some time,” Justice Lokur mentioned.

With regard to the assault on citizen journalism throughout the coronavirus pandemic, he mentioned that if information are proven then what’s the drawback.

“If it is a truth, even when it is uncomfortable, why ought to it not be reported? The objective is to enhance issues. If the hospitals should not working, and that report is factually right, why ought to it not be reported ? It’s just for enchancment,” he mentioned.

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