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Police not to be entangled into cases of financial impropriety, broken promises: SC

The valuable time of the police is consumed in investigating disputes that seem more suited for civil resolution, the court said.
Last Updated 22 February 2024, 16:31 IST

The Supreme Court said police force, which "shoulders the vital responsibility of preserving public order, guarding social harmony, and upholding the foundations of justice", should not be entangled into cases of financial impropriety, broken promises and unethical transactions between private parties.

A bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Satish Chandra Sharma dealt with a case where a broader question arose on balancing of interests that ought to be done between addressing unscrupulous private grievances and safeguarding public interests.

The court stressed on judicious allocation of law enforcement resources and the need for vigilance as it quashed an FIR filed against Deepak Kumar Shrivas by a woman, Rajkumari Maravi for allegedly taking Rs 4 lakh cash from her in April, 2019 for getting a job for her daughter.

The appellant claimed the woman herself took Rs 1 lakh from him ensuring a job for his brother. But upon a failure, she stopped taking his call and lodged a false case, he said.

He also filed a complaint with the police which investigated the matter, and found none of the parties failed to provide proof of monetary transactions and closed the probe. Subsequently, the woman, however, successfully lodged the FIR.

After examining the matter, the bench said prima facie, the conduct exhibited by the parties involved appears tainted with suspicion, casting a shadow over the veracity of their claims.

"The report from the previous inquiry reflects a convoluted landscape and unveils a trail of unethical, maybe even criminal, behaviour from both the parties. The unexplained inordinate delay in bringing these allegations to the police’s attention despite knowledge of previous inquiry, raises even more doubts and adds a layer of scepticism to the authenticity of the claims," the bench said.

Quashing the FIR, the court said the object of this dispute, "manifestly rife with mala fide intentions of only recovering the tainted money by coercion and threat of criminal proceedings", cannot be allowed to proceed further and exploit the time and resources of the law enforcement agency.

"The valuable time of the police is consumed in investigating disputes that seem more suited for civil resolution. This underscores the need for a judicious allocation of law enforcement resources, emphasising the importance of channelling their efforts towards matters of greater societal consequence," the bench said.

"The need for vigilance on the part of the police is paramount, and a discerning eye should be cast upon cases where unscrupulous conduct appears to eclipse the pursuit of justice," the bench added.

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(Published 22 February 2024, 16:31 IST)

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