Andhra High Court
Iqbal Kaur Kwatra
The Director General Of Police, …
on 2 April, 1996
Equivalent citations: 1996 (2) ALD 390, 1996 (1) ALD Cri 896, 1996 (2) ALT 138, 1996 (1) ALT Cri 622, 1996 (1) APLJ 370, 1996 CriLJ 2600
Bench: K S Shrivastav, M Rao
1. By this petition, under Art 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner seeks for a writ of habeas corpus directing the respondents Nos. 1 to 4 to produce her husband Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra and to set him at liberty.
2. By this order, the Writ Petition No. 21116 of 1994, taken up on the file on account of the telegram of the petitioner to the honourable the Chief Justice for issuance of an order, direction or writ in the nature of writ of mandamus in the matter of illegal arrest and detention of her husband Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra, shall be disposed of because both the writs arise out of the same incident.
3. Dr. Amrith Pal Singh is the son of Mr. Ranbir Singh and Smt. Harjeet Kaur and elder brother of Mr. Mohinder Pal Singh. The petitioner is the aunt, i.e., sister if Mr. Ranbir Singh and wife of Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra. Dr. Amrit Pal Singh was married to Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur, daughter of the 5th respondent, on 19-9-1993 in Jaipur. After the marriage, Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur came to Hyderabad and stayed with her husband and in-laws. She also got employment at NIMS Hospital, Hyderabad. At that time, her husband Dr. Amrit Pal Singh was in service at Kanpur and thereafter at Lucknow, while the petitioner and her husband Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra were staying in Visakhapatnam.
4. Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur went with her husband to Lucknow sometime in the month of February 1994 and after staying there for about a month she went to Jaipur on 28-3-1994 and staying there with her father, that is, respondent No. 5 since then.
5. On 25-10-1994, the 2nd respondent Mr. Har Pal Singh along with Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police and two constables as also the 5th respondent, who had come in a van from Jaipur to Hyderabad, visited the house of the petitioner at about 6.30 a.m., and took her husband Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra to Deccan Continental Hotel, Hyderabad. The petitioner followed them. Thereafter, Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was taken to the Bowanpalli Police Station, Hyderabad. On the same day at 10.00 a.m., the 2nd respondent Mr. Har Pal Singh prepared an arrest memo in which it is shown that Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra had been arrested in Crime No. 81 of 1994 under Sections 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code and besides his wearings, Rs. 800/- in cash, a small telephone directory and a driving licence were found and except his wearings other articles were seized. At about 12.45 p.m., the 2nd respondent Mr. Har Pal Singh with his staff and the 5th respondent left Secunderabad for Jaipur. They also took Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra with them. The 2nd respondent broke the journey after covering a distance of about 55-60 kms., on National High Way No. 7 – Hyderabad Nagpur road at about 2.15 p.m., for lunch. He and his party and the arrested person Mr. B. P. Kwatra stayed there till 11.00 p.m. Thereafter, they proceeded further and reached Hinganghat in Maharashtra State at about 10.00 a.m., on 26-10-1994. The 2nd respondent produced Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra before the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Hinganghat for transit remand, which was refused by the Magistrate and at about 3.00 p.m., the 2nd respondent Mr. Har Pal Singh proceeded further with his party and Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra and reached Jaipur on 27-10-1994 at 11.15 p.m. He produced Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra before the Additional Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate First Class No. 7, Jaipur at his residence and obtained police remand for one day. On 28-10-1994, Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was produced before the Additional Civil Judge and Judicial First Class Magistrate No. 3, Jaipur with a request for police remand for ten days because this Magistrate had jurisdiction to take cognizance of the offence. The Magistrate refused the remand and later on the application for bail filed by Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra released him oin bail in 28-10-1994.
6. The petitioner sent a telegram to the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court with a copy to the Chief justice of this Court and on the basis of which the case was taken up on file under the orders of the Hon’ble Chief Justice and Writ Petition No. 21116 of 1994 was registered and tagged with this writ petition, which was registered on the application dated 27-10-1994 of the petitioner.
7. The petitioner in her affidavit alleges that the 5th respondent Mr. Ranjeet Singh when reached her house with the police party and tried to take them with him, on enquiry, they informed her to have come to Hyderabad to arrest her brother Mr. Ranbir Singh. But he was not available in his residence and, therefore, they are taking her and her husband Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra to be detained till Mr. Ranbir Singh is arrested. She and her husband were taken to Deccan Continental Hotel, Hyderabad and were kept in illegal custody. On her request, she was permitted to bring the wearings of her husband because he was in night dress till then. Later, in the evening, she had a talk on the telephone with the 2nd respondent the Circle Inspector of Police of Jaipur, i.e., the 2nd respondent Mr. Har Pal Singh as also with her husband, who was in his custody. Her husband informed her on telephone that these persons were torturing him. On enquiry she came to know that the 2nd and 5th respondents had stayed in Deccan Continental Hotel, Hyderabad. She lodged a criminal complaint with Mahankali Police Station, Secunderabad that her husband had been kidnapped. Her husband was arrested without warrant of arrest by the 2nd respondent at the instigation of the 5th respondent. Both these persons abused her and her husband in vulgar language and the 2nd respondent had manhandled him. Under these circumstances, the petitioner has prayed that her husband should be ordered to be produced in Court and should be set at liberty.
8. One Mr. Dinesh Sharma, claiming himself to be the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Circle Office, Bani Park, Jaipur City, filed counter-affidavit on behalf of the respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 6. The 5th respondent filed his separate counter-affidavit.
9. In the counter affidavits it is alleged that on 29-9-1994 the 5th respondent had lodged a written complaint with Mahila Thana, Jaipur City, Jaipur and on the basis of which Crime No. 81 of 1994 under Sections 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code was registered. During the course of investigation, the personnel of Rajasthan police came to Hyderabad with the intention of arresting the accused Dr. Amrith Pal Singh and his parents and Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra, the husband of the petitioner, who has been named as one of the accused in Crime No. 81 of 1994, under orders of the Superintendent of Police, Jaipur City to arrest the accused persons and to recover the ‘Stridhan’. The 2nd respondent along with his staff and the 5th respondent, i.e., the complainant, reached Secunderabad on 24-10-1994 at about 2.30 a.m. and stayed in Deccan Continental Hotel, Hyderabad. On the same morning they took assistance from Bowanpalli Police Station and was provided with a Constable named Mr. Gurnam Singh. Vigorous search was made for the accused persons for the whole day but without success.
10. On 25-10-1994 at about 5.45 a.m., on request, the services of Constable Mr. Gurnam Singhu was provided to the 2nd respondent, who along with his staff went to the house of the petitioner at about 6.30 a.m., and took Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra for interrogation to Deccan Continental Hotel. The petitioner also followed them upto the Deccan Continental Hotel and requested to release her husband. She was informed that her husband was required for investigation. At 7.30 a.m., the 2nd respondent went to Bhowanpalli Police Station and he was followed by the petitioner there also. She was requested to go back with the request to inform about the whereabouts of Mr. Ranbir Singh and his family. After her departure, the 2nd respondent brought Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra to Bowanpalli Police Station where he gave some clues regarding Mr. Ranbir Singh. At 10.00 a.m., Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was arrested and his wife was informed on telephone about his arrest. At 10.00 a.m. a second attempt was made to arrest Mr. Ranbir Singh, but as his house was found locked, they came back to Bowanpalli Police Station, at 12.30 p.m. At about 12.45 p.m. the 2nd respondent and his party with the husband of the petitioner left Hyderabad for Jaipur and they stayed for lunch at 2.15 p.m., after covering a distance of 50 to 60 kms. At the request of Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra, he was permitted to talk to his wife at about 3.00 p.m. to find out whether Mr. Ranbir Singh had come back to his residence. He informed the 2nd respondent that Mr. Ranbir Singh and others had gone to Bidar and were likely to return by 9.00 p.m. Therefore, the 2nd respondent decided to stay there up to that time. At about 8.00 p.m., and again at 9.30 p.m., Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra telephoned to his wife and, after talking to her, told the 2nd respondent that Mr. Ranbir Singh and has family had returned to their residence. The petitioner was requested to tell Mr. Ranbir Singh and his family members that the complainant, that is the 5th respondent, would talk to Mr. Ranbir Singh on telephone so that he could identify them. But till 11.00 p.m. there was no response on their telephone. Again Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra telephoned to his wife, but it was gathered that they were simply passing the time and further waiting would not be fruitful. Therefore, after taking dinner, the 2nd respondent with his party proceeded further and in Hinganghat Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was produced before the Judicial Magistrate First Class at about 10.00 a.m., who after perusing the material, refused to grant transit remand. Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra has also filed an application before the Magistrate. The 2nd respondent with his team left for Jaipur after 2.30 p.m. and reached there at about 11.55 p.m. and produced Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra before the Additional Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate First Class No. 7, Jaipur at his residence, who on his request granted police remand for a day. Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was arrested in Crime No. 81 of 1994 under Section 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of the F.I.R. and the Statement of Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur. Later Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was released on bail on 28-10-1994. It is denied that to wreck his personal vengeance against this son-in-law and his father, the 5th respondent got Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra manhandled through the police.
11. In the case of Ram Narain Singh v. State of Delhi, , it is held that in a proceeding under the writ of habeas corpus the Court is required to consider the legality or otherwise of the detention of a person at the time when the return is filed and not at the time of the institution of the proceedings. This view has been quoted with approval in the case of Kanu Sanyal v. District Magistrate, Darjeeling .
12. As noted above, Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was arrested in Crime No. 81 of 1994 under Section 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code on 25-10-1994 and was released on bail by the competent criminal Court on 28-10-1994. Therefore, the writ for production, of Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra, accordingly, has become infructuous.
13. It has been urged on behalf of the petitioner that Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was forcibly taken from his residence in the early morning of 25-10-1995 to the Deccan Continental Hotel and, therefore, to the police station. But, in the arrest memo-time of arrest has been shown as 10.00 a.m., which is totally false. He was not produced before the nearest Magistrate but was taken to Jaipur with unnecessary break in journey. And, under these circumstances it is established that Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was illegally detained with ulterior motive. The petitioner was also harassed and humiliated. Her husband Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was manhandled and tortured and thus the petitioner is entitled to damages by way of compensation.
14. On the other hand, it is contended on behalf of the respondents that the allegation of the petitioner is false that the petitioner and/or husband Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was/were humiliated, tortured or manhandled. It is also denied that he was arreted in the early morning of 25-10-1994 and was not produced before the Magistrate in the permissible time, according to law, and therefore, no compensation is required to be paid to the petitioner.
15. In the case of Rudul Sah v. State of Bihar, , the apex Court has observed that when grave injustice is perpetrated upon the petitioner, the same can be rectified by compensating him in the interest of justice, particularly, when some palliative for the unlawful acts of the instrumentalities are established. Similarly, in the case of Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu and Kashmir, , it is held that non-production of the detenu before the Court made the respondent liable to pay compensation. It is further held that in appropriate cases the Court has jurisdiction to compensate the victim by awarding suitable monetary compensation.
16. In the case of B. R. Ramabhadraiah v. Secretary, Food and Agriculture Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, , it is held that the Court has power to mould the relief and take note of the changed circumstances in the interest of justice.
17. The position of law that emerges from the aformentioned decisions of the apex Court is that in appropriate cases the Court can award compensation to the victim by awarding suitable monetary compensation moulding the relief in view of the changed circumstances in the larger interest of justice.
17A. So far as the question of physical cruelty alleged to have been practised on Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra is concerned it appears difficult in the face of challenge by the respondents to come to any conclusion without recording oral evidence. In view of the rival versions, we consider it not appropriate to give any finding of facts. The petitioner, if so advised, can take appropriate steps in a proper forum. But, so far as the inferences are to be drawn, on the basis of the admitted and established circumstances, we consider it appropriate to proceed to discuss in the subsequent paragraphs.
18. It is well settled that “police custody” does not necessarily mean custody after formal arrest. It also includes “some form of police surveillance and restriction on the movements of the person concerned by the police”. The word “custody” does not necessarily mean detention or confinement. A person is in custody as soon as he comes into the hands of a police officer.
19. Section 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 reads :
“57. Person arrested not to be detained more than twenty-four hours :- No police officer shall detain in custody a person arrested without warrant for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable, and such period shall not, in the absence of a special order of a Magistrate under Section 167, exceed twenty-four hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate’s Court.”
20. On a reading of Section 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure it is evident that no police officer can detain in custody a person arrested without warrant for a period longer than twenty-four hours besides the time taken for journey.
21. In the case of State v. Ram Autar Chaudhry, , a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court has held that Section 61 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, equivalent to Section 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, does not empower a police officer to keep an arrested person in custody a minute longer than is necessary for the purpose of investigation and it does not give him an absolute right to keep a person in custody till twenty-four hours. It has further held that a police officer is not justified in detaining a person for one single hour except upon some reasonable ground justified by the circumstances of the case and under no circumstances can the period of such detention exceed twenty-four hours, without a special order of a Magistrate. In this case, the liability of admission in jail was not found a justifying reason for delay. This case has been referreds to in the case of Nabachandra v. Manipur Administration AIR 1964 Manipur 39 : (1964 (2) Cri LJ 307). A learned single Judge of the Manipur High Court has observed that :
“The Criminal Procedure Code does not authorise detention by the police for 24 hours after the arrest. Sections 60 and 61, Cr.P.C., makes this quite clear. Section 60 provides that a police officer making an arrest without warrant shall, without unnecessary delay take or send the person arrested before a Magistrate. Section 61 repeats this by saying that no police officer shall detain in custody a person arrested without warrant for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case if reasonable, and such period shall not, in the absence of a special order of a Magistrate under Section 167, exceed twenty-four hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate’s Court. Thus, the twenty-four hours prescribed under Section 61 is the outermost limit beyond which a person cannot be detained in police custody. It is certainly not an authorisation for the police to detain him for twenty-four hours in their custody. It is only in a case where a police officer considers that the investigation can be completed within the period of twenty-four hours fixed by Section 61 that such detention for twenty-four hours is permitted. This is clear from Section 167(1), Cr.P.C. Thus, when the Police Officer knew in this case that he cannot complete the investigation within twenty-four hours, the detention of the petitioner in custody in the Imphal Police Station which is just opposite the Court where the Magistrate sits was totally illegal.”
Thus it is held that on a construction of Section 60, 61 and 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (old), equivalent to Sections 56, 57 and 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (new) that unless a police officer considers that he can complete the investigation within a period of twenty-four hours, it is his duty to produce the accused for with before a Magistrate. The views expressed in these judgments have been quoted with approval in the case of Rajni Kanta v. State of Orissa 1975 Cri LJ 83 and a learned single Judge of the Orissa High Court has observed that the decisions referred to above indicate the true spirit of the law on the subject.
22. Thus it is seen that a police officer cannot detain any person in custody without arresting him and any such detention will amount to a wrongful confinement within the meaning of Section 340 of the Indian Penal Code. Actual arrest and detention do not appear to be necessary. A person in custody cannot be detained without producing him before a Magistrate under the colourable pretention that no actual arrest is made and the burden of proving the reasonable ground is on the arrester that the time occupied in the journey was reasonable with reference to the distance traversed as also other circumstances and in case of continuation of detention for twenty-four hours, particularly, when the police officer has reason to believe that the investigation cannot be completed within twenty-four hours, he must produce the accused forthwith before the Magistrate and cannot wait for twenty-four hours.
23. It is not disputed before us that Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was taken from his residence by the 2nd respondent and his staff at about 6.30 to the Deccan Continental Hotel and from there to the police station where the arrest memo had been prepared at 10.00 a.m. Thus he was in continuous custody of the 2nd respondent from 6.30 a.m., till he was ultimately produced before the competent Magistrate at Jaipur on 28-10-1994. He was not produced before any Judicial Magistrate in Hyderabad though the 2nd respondent left with him and his staff at 12.45 p.m. for Jaipur. It has been mentioned in para 3 of the coutner-affidavit given on behalf of respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 6 that the 2nd respondent and his staff had come to Hyderabad to arrest Dr. Amrith Pal Singh, his parents and Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra and, therefore, there appears to be no reason as to why the arrest memo., was not prepared at the time when he was taken in custody because, on their own showing, he was very much wanted by the police in the aforementioned crime. There was no point in taking him to the Deccan Continental Hotel and, thereafter, to the police station for the alleged interrogation.
24. True that the police can also interrogate any person under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which right includes a prospective accused. But the provisions of Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are of no assistance to the respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 6 for the simple reason that they had come to arrest, amongst other, Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra and not to interrogate him. In case a police officer investigating a crime wants to interrogate any person he should summon him under Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for the purposes of interrogation. It is not their case that some property was in possession of Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra which was to be recovered at his instance and which related to the dowry property. It is pertinent to note that there was no allegation made by the complainant against him that he had kept any property alleged to have been given at the time of marriage of Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur. There is nothing in the concerned counter as to what was the interrogation made and with what result. The case of Munuswamy Shanmugam v. Collector of Customs, 1995 Cri LJ 1740 (Bom) is of no help to the respondents because in this case the accused was summoned for interrogation and recording of his statement on 20-8-1993 and after interrogation he was arrested on 21-8-1993. Whereas, in the case in hand, as noted above, Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was never summoned for interrogation and recording of his statement.
25. It is an admitted fact that the 2nd respondent with his staff and the accused Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra as also the 5th respondent stayed for about nine hours after covering a distance of about 50 to 60 kms. from Secunderabad for lunch. The reason given for staying there for about nine hours with a view to obtain information regarding Mr. Ranbir Singh and others through the petitioner and her husband on telephone, does not at all appear to be justified and reasonable. The 2nd respondent had tried to locate Mr. Ranbir Singh immediately on reaching Hyderabad upto the time they left Hyderabad. He had taken Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra with him in spite of his protests as also of the petitioner. Under these circumstances, it was not expected of him and the petitioner to tell the where-abouts of Mr. Ranbir Singh – their near relation only to be arrested and humiliated. It is not the case of these respondents that the petitioner and Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra were given a promise that Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra shall be released in case they get Mr. Ranbir Singh and his family arrested. Therefore, it cannot be inferred that for such an inducement given the 2nd respondent expected for a favourable information from them. Eve if it is assumed that the intention for nine hours stay was to arrest Mr. Ranbir Singh and his family, it cannot be accepted to be a reasonable cause to detain Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra during journey because grounds for judging the time occupied in journey is with reference to the distance to be traversed and other circumstances such as mechanical failure of the vehicle in which they were travelling or illeness etc. of the occupants and for no other purpose, much less inability of the Investigation Officer to arrest the other persons, particularly, when they could not be made available in spite of vigorous search made by the Investigating Officer in Hyderabad with his staff.
26. The 2nd respondent with his staff and Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra as also the 5th respondent stayed in Hinganghat from about 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. and the cause of stay has been shown the production of Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra before the Judicial Magistrate, Hinganghat for obtaining transit remand. There is no provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure for obtaining transit remand from a Magistrate during the course of journey. If such a transit remand was at all required, according to the 2nd respondent, there appears to be no earthly reason so to why such attempt was not made in Hyderabad only where he had stayed upto 12.55 p.m. and he knew it for certain that it will take atleast forty four hours for reaching Jaipur from Hyderabad because he had come a day before in a vehicle from Jaipur to Hyderabad and knew the time that was occupied in travelling. Thus it is evident that the break in journey for transit remand for about six hours in Hinganghat was not necessary and, therefore, this period cannot be included in journey period.
27. It is pertinent to note that at the time of arrest an amount of Rs. 800/- and other articles were seized from Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra, but no receipt evidencing the seizure of articles was given to him as required under Section 51 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was produced in Jaipur before a Judicial Magistrate who had not jurisdiction to try the case though the Judicial Magistrate who was competent to try the case was available in Jaipur only. No reason has been given as to why Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was not produced before the competent Judicial Magistrate in Jaipur. We had perused the case diary and it is also not the case of the respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 6 that further interrogation was required to be done from him and, therefore, the request for a police remand for a day from the Magistrate who has no jurisdiction, is not understandable. It is interesting to note that not satisfied with one day’s police remand the 2nd respondent again sought police remand for a period of ten days from the competent Magistrate who expressing surprise rejected the prayer for further police remand. The 2nd respondent stayed with the 5th respondent in the Deccan Continental Hotel in Hyderabad. They had come from Jaipur in a mini van. The Deccan Continental Hotel is a costly hotel in. Hyderabad. The counter is silent as to who bore the expenses of stay for two days in Deccan Continental Hotel. Similarly, the counter is silent as to the expenses incurred in coming and going from Jaipur in the mini van. The 2nd respondent appears to be very vigilent in performing his duty by coming right from Jaipure to Hyderabad by road and in making all efforts in locating the house of and searching Mr. Ranbir Singh and his family members, and staying at a distance of about 50 to 60 kms. for about nine hours in the hope of arresting them, then going back to Jaipur and obtaining police remand for one day in the night intervening 27/28-10-1994. But the aforementioned circumstances do not indicate that he acted innoncently.
28. True, that in the order sheet recorded by the Judicial Magistrate, Hinganghat it is mentioned that Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra did not complain against the 2nd respondent, but that statement does not appear to be a voluntary statement for the simple reason that he had also given a written application before that Magistrate regarding his unnecessary involvement in the crime. Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra was taken from his house right at 6.30 a.m. on 25-10-1994 and then was not allowed to go back. If he was produced before the Magistrate in Hyderabad he would have tried to apply and obtain bail. Under these circusmtances, how can it be said that he did not complain about the behaviour of the 2nd respondent to the Magistrate unless he was pressure not to do so.
29. The learned Counsel of the petitioner has stated that the Jaipur police had a jurisdiction to investigate the case because the offence against the accused persons for practising cruelty and demanding dowry is alleged to have been committed in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Lucknow and consequently the Jaipur Magistrate had no jurisdiction to try the offence. But this question is not to be investigated here because the case is pending before the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Jaipur, who is competent to decide the question of jurisdiction as and when it is raised before the said Court. Similarly, it is the function of the trial Court to consider and decide the effect of omission in F.I.R. and in statements under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding the reference of the letter dated 14-2-1994 alleged to have been written by Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur to her father and as also the delay in lodging the F.I.R., that too by the 5th respondent instead of Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur, and, therefore, we express no opinion in this matter.
30. The upshot of the aforesaid discussion is that the 2nd respondent was not competent to detain in his custody Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra from 6.30 a.m. to 10.00 a.m., on 25-10-1994 and the detention of 31/2 hours appears to us to be a wrongful confinement. And his act of keeping him in custody and not producing him before a Magistrate in Hyderabad knowing fully well that on further investigation, so far as he is concerned, was left to be done and when more than forty five hours would be occupied in travelling, amounts to denial of the protection of liberty and it should not be tolerated. The 2nd respondent was not justified in detaining Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra unnecessarily for nine hours on his way to Hinganghat and, thereafter, detaining unnecessarily for six hours in Hinganghat and producing before a Magistrate having no jurisdiction in midnight on 27-10-1994 and that too with a request for police remand. Even if the 2nd respondent thought the investigation could not be completed within twenty-four hours from the time of arrest of Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra, he should have produced him forthwith before a Magistrate in Hyderabad without waiting for twenty-four hours, which is the time prescribed under Section 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as the outer most limit beyond which a person cannot be detained in police custody. The forcibly taking away and illegal detention of Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra from 6.30 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and not producing him before the Magistrate on the same day, in the above-mentioned circumstances, is in gross violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Arts. 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India. It is a case of not only the high-handedness of the 2nd respondent but also an act of committing mental and psychological torture to the petitioner and her husband Mr. B. P. S. Kwatra. It is fit case in which an order for payment in the nature of compensation can be passed, consequently, upon the deprivation of a fundamental right to life and liberty of he petitioner’s husband. The act of the 2nd respondent cannot be but malicious in the pursuit to know the whereabouts of Mr. Ranbir Singh and his family. We direct the respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 6 to deposit a sum of Rs. 10,000/- towards interim compensation for the illegal detention with the Registrar (Judicial) of this court within one month from today. The amount, on being so deposited, shall be paid to the petitioner who may take such further legal action, as advised, in the proper forum.
31. Before we conclude, we would like to mention that, looking to the age of Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur and Dr. Amrit Pal Singh as also heir profession and family status, we made attempts for reconciliation on 13-2-1995 in our Chamber wherein Dr. Amrit Pal Singh had handed over fourteen certificates and a big packet containing of books and notes to his wife Dr. Brinder Jeet Kaur, but we record with regret that all our attempts for reconciliation failed.
32. The writ petitions are thus disposed of accordingly. We direct the respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 6 to pay Rs. 1,000/- as costs to the petitioner.
33. Petition allowed.