KARNATAKA: In the case of NINGARAJU N v. OFFICIAL LIQUIDATOR OF M/S INDIA HOLIDAY (PVT) LTD, The Karnataka High Court held that whenever any warrant is issued by the Court, whether a bailable warrant or non-bailable warrant, it is the duty of an arresting officer to check the identity and be satisfied that the person proposed to be arrested is the same person as against whom the warrant has been issued.
A single judge bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj directed the state government to pay a compensation of Rs.5 lakhs to one Ningaraju N for wrongful arrest based on alleged confusion in his identity.
In its order, the Bech said – “The only reason why the applicant had been arrested is that the name of his father was similar to the name of the person named in the warrant. I Am unable to comprehend how the name of the father is similar or even identical would have any role to play in the arrest, extrapolating the same logic if the arrest warrant has been issued for one brother, another brother or maybe even the sister could be arrested, merely, because the father name is identical. What is of primary importance is the identity of the person who is to be arrested and not any other aspect like the name of the father, though the same may have a corroborative role.”
The Court observed that the arrestee had disputed that he was the person named in the warrant and his identification was not cross-checked during arrest and verified resulting in an innocent person being arrested by the authorities.
“Though the arrestee had categorically stated that he was not the person named in the warrant, the arresting officer has not verified the same instead the arrestee has been arrested and produced before this Court, thereby causing harm and injury not only to the liberty of the arrestee but also to the reputation of the arrestee which is in violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.”
The court has also directed the Director General of Police that proper training should be provided to all arresting officers. If not issued the same shall be issued, as to what are the steps to be taken by the arresting officer before arresting a person including the verification of identity, within four weeks.
The Court has also imposed a Compensation fine of Rs. ₹5 Lakhs on the arresting officer.
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