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Complete Forgery of Documents by UP Police: Delhi HC on ‘Illegal’ Arrest of City Residents

The court was hearing a petition filed by a couple that had gotten married against the wishes of the woman's family.

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New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh police officers who arrested two Delhi residents without informing the local police kept them in illegal custody for two days and forged documents to cover this up, the Delhi high court observed on Tuesday.

Hearing a petition filed by a couple that had gotten married against the wishes of the woman’s family, the court asked how did the police take away the man’s brother and father from Delhi to Shamli on charges of kidnapping – despite the woman being a major.

According to news agency PTI, Justice Mukta Gupta noted that as per the inquiry carried out by the Uttar Pradesh police, the call data record of the officials revealed that they had taken away the men on September 6, 2021. But they were shown to be arrested only two days later – when talks between the families of the man and the woman failed.

The judge stated that laxity in the investigation was not the same as forgery, which is an offence. Had it not been for the family’s petition and the court’s timely intervention, the two arrested persons would still be languishing in jail, Justice Gupta said.

“From 6th to 8th (of September 2021), they (arrested persons) were in illegal custody. FIR was registered after they were taken away. It is complete forgery of documents. A to Z, every document is forged,” Justice Gupta remarked.

“Investigation may be callous but you cannot fudge the documents. Take away somebody, pick up from one place, take him there illegally and then show arrest. Laxity and forgery of documents are two different things. Laxity in Investigation is not an offence but you forge documents, this is a clear case of forging documents by IOs [investigating officers],” the court added, according to LiveLaw.

The couple had moved the high court, saying they had married of their own volition in July last year, contrary to the wishes of the woman’s family and were now getting repeated threats from them. During the proceedings, it was revealed that the father and brother of the man were taken away by the UP police and their whereabouts were unknown for more than a month.

The Delhi Police had then informed the court that the man’s family members had been arrested by the UP Police in relation to a complaint made by the woman’s mother under Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc) and no intimation of the police officers’ arrival was made to the local station in Delhi.

The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier informed the high court that the two officers – a station house officer (SHO) and a sub-inspector – had been suspended. It said that a special investigation team (SIT) was also formed to probe the matter, according to LiveLaw. The case against the arrested persons stood closed.

File photo of Uttar Pradesh police. Credit: PTI

Representative image of Uttar Pradesh police. Photo: PTI

On Tuesday, Justice Gupta emphasised that when the FIR itself disclosed that the woman in question was a major, the UP Police officials should have first ascertained her will instead of taking action against the man’s family.

Perusing the affidavit filed by the UP government, the court said that though the police officers reiterated facts as noted in the case diary, their call data records showed that they had come to Amar Colony in New Delhi on August 6, 2021. “However, on 6 September 2021, it was revealed that SI, the IO along with constables had come to house of petitioner at New Delhi on September 6, 2021 at about 6 PM in evening from where the 3 police officers took Rajinder Singh and Amit to Shamli on September 6, 2021 (sic),” the court noted, according to LiveLaw.

The additional advocate general (AAG) for Uttar Pradesh Garima Prashad ensured the court that the two officers will not be spared and appropriate action will be taken.

The court closed the case and said that in view of the stand taken by the AAG, no more orders were required to pass in the matter.

It granted liberty to the man’s family to take recourse to law against the concerned persons.

On October 26, the court had issued notice to UP Police on the petition while stating that it was trite law that persons under the jurisdiction of the Delhi Police could not be apprehended by them without intimating the local police.

“It was unfortunate that even without finding the facts and whether the parties were major or minor, arrests were made by UP Police,” the judge had observed.

On October 28, the court had pulled up the UP police for the arrests and said that such illegal acts were not permissible and would not be tolerated in Delhi.

“I will call for CCTV. I will direct departmental enquiry if I see UP police arresting from Delhi… I want all CCTV footage and vehicle number. If I see UP police entering [Delhi], I will take action. We will not permit this. You can’t do illegal acts here,” the court had said.