Supreme Court : “Criminal law has become an ass in the eyes of the public.”

Do not make law an ass: SC tells police


New Delhi: A day after expressing concern over Delhi Police allowing murder convicts to roam free when they should be in jail, the Supreme Court on Tuesday discovered that the malady extended to Punjab and might well be in vogue in other parts of the country.

A vacation bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasad was livid when it found that petitioner Charan Singh, whose conviction by the trial court for throwing acid on others had been confirmed by the Punjab and Haryana high court, was still free and had not been put behind bars by police.

“It is a matter of surprise that despite the trial court convicting the accused and the high court confirming the conviction four months ago, the police has not yet arrested the convict and put him behind bars,” the bench said and directed senior superintendent of police, Ludhiana, to immediately arrest Charan Singh and submit a report to the apex court.

The bench said such laxity on the part of the police had made the criminal justice system suspect in the eyes of the public. “Those who have clout, they flout the law,” it said.

“Criminal law has become an ass in the eyes of the public. We have an agency which is to arrest an accused after he is pronounced guilty by the court. If that is so, then how is it possible that the convicts are not arrested?” the bench said.

Trying to sensitise law enforcing agencies to the grave fallout of such inaction, the Bench said, “In this, case acid was thrown on several persons who are scarred for life. Their lives are ruined. Yet, the convict is roaming free.”

The Bench said Singh’s appeal challenging the HC verdict of February 2 would be heard only after the SSP of Ludhiana filed a report stating that the appellant had been lodged in prison.

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