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IndiaCJI recuses from hearing PIL seeking guidelines for raids

CJI recuses from hearing PIL seeking guidelines for raids

Date:

New Delhi, Sep 5:  Chief Justice of T S Thakur today recused himself from hearing a PIL seeking framing of guidelines for safeguarding rights of public against alleged misuse of powers by probe agencies during search and seizure.

As the plea contained details of recent searches conducted at the houses of Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Justice Thakur said “I know him for many years. I will not be part of the bench which hears it”.

The petition, filed by journalist Upendra Rai, contended that probe agencies were allegedly “harassing and humiliating citizens while conducting searches at their residential premises” and the procedures need to be regulated.

“Issue a direction under Article 32 of the Constitution in the form of adequate guidelines regulating procedure of search and seizure at the residential premises/dwelling units by all the investigating agencies in India,” the plea said and sought protection of fundamental rights of citizens including protection of life and personal liberty.

“Issue appropriate guidelines/measures to protect the Fundamental Rights under Article 19(1)(a), 19(1)(d) and 21 of the Constitution, of the citizens against harassment and humiliation being caused to them by Investigating Agencies while conducting search at their residential premises,” the PIL, filed through advocate Keshav Mohan, said.

The plea cited examples of recent searches conducted at the residences of the Himachal CM and Director General of Corporate Affairs B K Bansal, whose wife and daughter allegedly committed suicide here.

“The petitioner is seeking indulgence of this Court to the atrocities being committed by probe agency like CBI and issue adequate guidelines to safeguard rights of public against the misuse of powers of search and seizure by the investigating agency, particularly when search is being conducted at the residence of a person and further to protect family members of the person from social stigma caused to their reputation from the illegal search conducted by the investigating agencies,” it said.

The plea also referred to a suicide note written by the mother-daughter duo that they took this step due to the humiliation caused by the CBI officials during the search operations at Bansal's residence. His son too has been missing since the first CBI raid.

Referring to the Bansal case, the petition said his wife and daughter committed suicide due to the humiliation caused to them by CBI officials during the search operations.

“It is respectfully submitted that incident has shocked the conscience of the nation and raised an alarm to have a check on the powers of the investigating agency with regard to search and seizure and more particularly, when such warrants are executed in a residential premises of a person, which has the larger effect of violation of fundamental right of the person and his family as provided to them under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” it said.

The plea said the CBI went against its own manual by raiding Bansal's house for 22 hours through the night on July 18-19.

“It is pertinent to mention here that CBI conducted the second raid at the residence of Bansal for nearly 22 hours from 3.30 pm on July 18, 2016 till 5.30 am on July 19, which is against the guidelines framed by the CBI in their own manual.

“In chapter 13 of the CBI Manual, it is specifically stated that although the law does not require that searches should be made by daylight only, searches after dark, should, as far as possible, be avoided,” it said.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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