In a recent case at Lucknow, The Allahabad High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh Government, stating that no person, including an accused, can be summoned to a police station orally by subordinate police officials without the approval or consent of the station house officer.
The Bench headed by Justice Arvind Kumar Mishra-I and Justice Manish Mathur directed that if a complaint is made at any police station that necessitates an investigation and the presence of the accused, a suitable course of action as prescribed under provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code are to be followed, which contemplates serving a written notice upon such a person, but only after a case has been registered.
A person’s life, liberty, and dignity cannot be jeopardized based solely on the verbal orders of police officers, emphasized the bench.
In this case, A girl (Sarojani) filed a letter petition before the High Court in which she claimed that her parents (Ram Vilas and Savitri) were summoned to the Mahila Thana Police Station in Lucknow and did not return.
The girl’s petition was Heard on April 8, 2022, and treated as Habeas Corpus, the State represented by A.G.A informed the Court that no such occurrence had occurred at the police station.
The petitioners Savitri and Ram Vilas and their daughter appeared before the Court on April 13, 2022, and informed the Court that some police personnel summoned them to the police station, and after they arrived at the police station, they were detained and threatened by some police personnel.
The Inspector of the concerned thana on the same day informed the Court that the petitioners had visited the police station on April 8 at around 12 noon in connection with a dispute over the partition of ancestral property, and after recording their statements, they were allowed to leave the police station at around 3.30 p.m. on the same day.
however, the petitioner seek an unconditional apology and claimed that there was no deliberate attempt to humiliate or harass the petitioners, but rather it was the misconduct and insubordination of a Constable, and that there was no reason for the police to have mistreated the petitioners.
Further, the Court emphasized that there is no provision in either the Indian Constitution or the CrPC that requires a police officer to summon and detain a person even without the filing of a first information report, and that too orally.
The Court Signifying the right to personal liberty as envisaged by Article 21, which means that a fair, just, and reasonable procedure must be followed by police officers must be viewed in the context of any such action.