Saturday, 31 December 2016

Whether Judge can be arrested without following guidelines laid down Supreme court?

We are mainly concerned with the independence of the
Judiciary. That is much more important than any individual dispute
or one particular Judicial Officer. At this stage, we may reiterate
the law laid down by the Apex Court in Delhi Judicial Service
Association (supra) case. The relevant portion of the Judgment
reads as follows:-
“56. The facts of the instant case demonstrate that a
Presiding Officer of a Court may be arrested and humiliated
on flimsy and manufactured charges which could affect the
administration of justice. In order to avoid any such
situation in future, we consider it necessary to lay down
guidelines which should be followed in the case of arrest
and detention of a Judicial Officer. No person whatever his
rank, or designation may be, is above law and he must face
the penal consequences of infraction of criminal law. A
Magistrate, Judge or any other Judicial Officer is liable to
criminal prosecution for an offence like any other citizen
but in view of the paramount necessity of preserving the
independence of judiciary and at the same time ensuring
that infractions of law are properly investigated, we think
that the following guidelines should be followed:
A) If a Judicial Officer is to be arrested for some
offence, it should be done under intimation to the District
Judge or the High Court as the case may be. 
B) If facts and circumstances necessitate the
immediate arrest of a Judicial Officer of the subordinate
judiciary, a technical or formal arrest may be effected.
C) The fact of such arrest should be immediately
communicated to the District and Sessions Judge of the
concerned District and the Chief Justice of the High Court.
D) The Judicial Officer so arrested shall not be taken
to a police station, without the prior order or directions of
the District & Sessions Judge of the concerned District, if
available.
E) Immediate facilities shall be provided to the
Judicial Officer for communication with his family
members, legal advisors and Judicial Officers, including the
District & Sessions Judge.
F) No statement of a Judicial Officer who is under
arrest be recorded nor any panchnama be drawn up nor
any medical tests be conducted except in the presence of
the Legal Advisor of the Judicial Officer concerned or
another Judicial Officer of equal or higher rank, if available.
G) There should be no handcuffing of a Judicial
Officer. If, however, violent resistance to arrest is offered
or there is imminent need to effect physical arrest in order
to avert danger to life and limb, the person resisting arrest
may be overpowered and handcuffed. In such case,
immediate report shall be made to the District & Sessions
Judge concerned and also to the Chief Justice of the High
Court. But the burden would be on the Police to establish
the necessity for effecting physical arrest and handcuffing
the Judicial Officer and if it be established that the physical
arrest and hand-cuffing of the Judicial Officer was
unjustified, the Police Officers causing or responsible for
such arrest and handcuffing would be guilty of misconduct
and would also be personally liable for compensation
and/or damages as may be summarily determined by the
High Court.
57. The above guidelines are not exhaustive but
these are minimum safeguards which must be observed in
case of arrest of a Judicial Officer. These guidelines should
be implemented by the State Government as well as by the
High Courts. We, accordingly, direct that a copy of the
guidelines shall be forwarded to the Chief Secretaries of all
the State Governments and to all the High Courts with a
direction that the same may be brought to the notice of the
concerned officers for compliance
THE HIGH COURT OF TRIPURA
AGARTALA
W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014
Court on own Motion
Vs
State of Tripura by the Secretary,


BEFORE
HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. DEEPAK GUPTA
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE S.C. DAS




Delivery of Judgment : 26.08.2015.

This is a very unfortunate case where a Judicial Officer
was arrested by the police in total violation of the law laid down by
the Apex Court in Delhi Judicial Service Association, Tis
Hazari Court, Delhi Vrs. State of Gujarat & Ors., AIR 1991
SC 2176.
2. The brief facts leading to the initiation of this writ
petition are that on Sunday the 8th June, 2014, a news item
appeared in one of the local newspaper namely, ‘Dainik Sambad’
wherein it was stated that Sri Motom Debbarma, a Judicial Officer
belonging to the Tripura Judicial Service had been arrested on the
night intervening 6th / 7th June, 2014. This news item was brought
to the notice of one of us (Chief Justice) and the Registrar General
of this Court was immediately directed to call for the report of the
Superintendent of Police in this regard. The Chief Judicial
Magistrate, West Tripura, Agartala was also asked to furnish his
report in the matter.
3. The Superintendent of Police sent a communication on
09.06.2014 to the Registrar General. Relevant portion of the
communication reads as follows:-
“…The fact in brief is that on 6.6.2014 night at around
2200 hours, the Police officers and staff of New Capital Complex
Police Station were engaged in maintaining the Law & order in W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 3 of 41
and around GBP hospital and also to organize medical aid to the
injured persons evacuated to G.B. hospital following clash
between BSF and local people of South Ramnagar, West Agartala
Police Station. As injured from both BSF and public were admitted
in the hospital, a large number of people and BSF personnel had
assembled there, tension was prevailing in and around GB
hospital.
At that time, one four wheeler having its Registration
number TR-01-Z-0597 was seen being driven in a very rash and
dangerous manner. The rash and dangerous driving by driver of
the vehicle TR01-Z-0597 caused serious annoyance to the people.
The Police officers deployed signaled the driver to stop the
vehicle, however the driver did not stop the vehicle.”
The Superintendent of Police in his report stated that
on 06.06.2014 at about 10 p.m., there was a lot of rush in the GBP
hospital because medical aid was being provided to some injured
persons following a clash between some official of the BSF and the
local population.
4. According to this report, one vehicle bearing
Registration No.TR-01-Z-0597 entered the hospital premises area
and the same has been driven in a rash and negligent manner. The
people standing in the hospital got very annoyed. The police
officials signaled to the driver to stop the vehicle, but the driver
did not stop the vehicle. Some of the police officers along with the
local people managed to detain the vehicle. The person driving the
vehicle came out of the car and started shouting an abusive
language. The police, therefore, detained the driver to prevent
deterioration of Law & Order situation. The driver of the vehicle
was smelling of alcohol and was arrested under Section 202 of the W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 4 of 41
Motor Vehicles Act and was sent to the Casualty Block of the GBP
hospital for medical examination. The Medical Officer opined that
the person appeared to be under influence of alcohol. According to
the Superintendent of Police, the said driver of the vehicle was
taken to the New Capital Complex Police Station and kept in police
custody. After he was brought to the Police Station he claimed that
he was a Judicial Magistrate.
5. In the report, it is stated as follows:-
“…When he was brought at NCC PS, he claimed himself to
be a judicial magistrate, but that version of Sri Motom
Debbarma did not appear to be believable as at that time
Sri Motom Debbarma was in completely intoxicated state
and his overt gestures and postures also did not support
such claim.”

6. According to the Superintendent of Police,
subsequently it was learnt that Sri Motom Debbarma was a Judicial
Magistrate posted at Bishalgarh.
7. The Chief Judicial Magistrate also submitted his report
on 09.06.2014. According to the report of the learned Chief
Judicial Magistrate, the Officer-in-Charge of the New Capital
Complex Police Station had reported the matter to him. In his
report, the Chief Judicial Magistrate stated that he had been
informed by the Officer-in-Charge of the New Capital Complex
Police Station that the driver of the vehicle had driven the car into
a huge crowed in a reckless manner and therefore, the people had W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 5 of 41
got very angry. The Chief Judicial Magistrate in his report stated
that the Officer-in-Charge of the New Capital Complex Police
Station reported to him as follows:-
“…At the relevant point of time, the person on steering of
the vehicle who was under influence of liquor and was
unable to take care of himself, proclaimed himself to be a
Judicial Magistrate posted at Bishalgarh.”
Further according to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, he
was informed by the Officer-in-Charge that Sri Motom Debbarma
started abusing the police personnel and the crowd gathered there.
The crowd demanded that the driver be arrested and due to
passion of the large number of people, the police was compelled to
arrest Sri Debbarma and took him to the hospital for medical
examination where he was found to be intoxicated. The Judicial
Officer was detained and was released from the Police Station at
9.15 a.m. on 08.06.2014. On the same day at 2.30 p.m., the
Officer-in-Charge of the New Capital Complex Police Station
submitted the prosecution report against the Judicial Officer under
Sections 179/184/185 of the Motor Vehicles Act.
8. The relevant portion of the report filed with the police
reads as follows:-
“…In the mean time one vehicle B/NO-TR-01-Z-0597 was
driving recklessly and dangerously police party passed
signal to stop the vehicle. But the driver of the vehicle was
adamant. The people was agitated and angry upon the
driver of the said vehicle. They gharrowed the vehicle. Self
with assistance of police party rescued it’s driver namely
Motom Debbarma (42) S/O Lt Ramesh Debbarma of W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 6 of 41
Laxmirampara, Ps – Bishramganj, who was found drunk
and was very excited in his behavior, using slang
languages towards police and public. In this circumstances
to save Sri Motom Debbarma from the anger of local people
took in safe custody. Said Motom Debbarma introduced
himself as a Judicial Magistrate of Ld. SDJM Bishalghar
Court. Police paid proper respect to him but he was more
violent and was using slang languages towards police. It
was found the smell of alcohol from his mouth. Finding no
other alternative said Motom Debbarma was arrested u/s-
202 MV Act. after observing all legal formalities and placed
him before EMO. AGMC & GBP hospital for his medical
examination. The attending doctor D.K. Debbarma, MO
Casulity Block AGMC & GBP Hospital expressed his opinion
“the accused has feature of alcohol consumption and
presently can not take care of himself”. Subsequently he
has kept in Ps custody after observing all formalities. Later
on 07-06-2014 morning at 09:15 the a/p has been bailed
out after observing all legal formalities.”
9. Along with the papers submitted to the Court, there
are certain G.D. Entry reports and also the application praying for
medical examination of the accused. In the said prayer, the name
of the Judicial Officer Sri Motom Debbarma has been given along
with his father’s name etc., but it is not mentioned that he was a
Judicial Officer. The arrest Memo shows the time of arrest to be
0030 hours and in this also, it is not mentioned that the arrested
person was a Judicial Officer.
10. The Registrar General was directed to issue show
cause notice to the Judicial Officer in this regard because the
allegations made against him were serious. The relevant portion of
his reply reads as follows:-W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 7 of 41
“(3) That, the real fact is that on 06-06-2014 at about
10.30 pm I was returning back to my wife’s quarter at
AGMC & GBP Hospital, Agartala after attending an occasion
in my uncle’s house at Colonel Chowmani, Agartala (on
account of passing of Matric and Engineering examinations
of my uncle’s grandsons) and when I reached near my
wife’s quarter, after crossing the Emergency Block Square
of AGMC & GBP Hospital at about 11.00 pm to 11.30 pm, at
that time, I was firstly detained by the police personnel
and was taken to New Capital Complex Police Station, then
to Emergency Block of AGMC & GBP Hospital and latter on I
was arrested and kept behind the lock-up at New Capital
Complex Police Station whole night and was released on
personal bond next day at about 9.00 am to 9.30 am. Later
on, I came to learn that I was arrested on the ground that I
was driving vehicle in a reckless and dangerous manner.
(4) That, the Medical Report submitted by the Medical
Officer, Casualty Block, AGMC & GBP Hospital is totally
false and without justification. Because, the said medical
officer has neither examined me clinically nor subjected me
to any medical tested in what so ever manner about the
percentage of alcohol present/consumed in my body and
submitted the said medical report before the police.
Thereby, I have been grossly prejudiced due to the such
act or omission of the said medical officer. This very act or
omission on the part of the said medical officer is very
threatening to the live/lives of the arrested person and to
the society at large.
(7) That, I would confessed here now that on the night of
06/06/2014 while on the occasion of passing of the matric
and engineering examination of my uncle’s grandsons in
their house I had consumed a small quantity of our
home/country made wine as a custom in sharing the
pleasure of my cousin brothers and uncle. But, I was in full
sense and conscience and is a normal person and was
returning back to my wife’s quarter in a normal way.
Therefore, I would swear again here in the name of God
that on that night I was neither intoxicated nor drunk. I am
falsely implicated in the case without any justification.”
11. The stand of the Judicial Officer was that he was
innocent and he was just going to his wife’s residence and the
police had illegally arrested him. According to the Judicial Officer, W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 8 of 41
he had informed the police even at the time of his arrest that he
was a Judicial Officer, but they paid no heed to him.
12. Therefore, on 11.06.2014, this Court had suo motu
registered the writ petition. We had made it clear that we are not
commenting one way or the other on the alleged misbehaviour of
the Judicial Officer and if he is at fault action would be taken
against him.
13. We are mainly concerned with the independence of the
Judiciary. That is much more important than any individual dispute
or one particular Judicial Officer. At this stage, we may reiterate
the law laid down by the Apex Court in Delhi Judicial Service
Association (supra) case. The relevant portion of the Judgment
reads as follows:-
“56. The facts of the instant case demonstrate that a
Presiding Officer of a Court may be arrested and humiliated
on flimsy and manufactured charges which could affect the
administration of justice. In order to avoid any such
situation in future, we consider it necessary to lay down
guidelines which should be followed in the case of arrest
and detention of a Judicial Officer. No person whatever his
rank, or designation may be, is above law and he must face
the penal consequences of infraction of criminal law. A
Magistrate, Judge or any other Judicial Officer is liable to
criminal prosecution for an offence like any other citizen
but in view of the paramount necessity of preserving the
independence of judiciary and at the same time ensuring
that infractions of law are properly investigated, we think
that the following guidelines should be followed:
A) If a Judicial Officer is to be arrested for some
offence, it should be done under intimation to the District
Judge or the High Court as the case may be. 
B) If facts and circumstances necessitate the
immediate arrest of a Judicial Officer of the subordinate
judiciary, a technical or formal arrest may be effected.
C) The fact of such arrest should be immediately
communicated to the District and Sessions Judge of the
concerned District and the Chief Justice of the High Court.
D) The Judicial Officer so arrested shall not be taken
to a police station, without the prior order or directions of
the District & Sessions Judge of the concerned District, if
available.
E) Immediate facilities shall be provided to the
Judicial Officer for communication with his family
members, legal advisors and Judicial Officers, including the
District & Sessions Judge.
F) No statement of a Judicial Officer who is under
arrest be recorded nor any panchnama be drawn up nor
any medical tests be conducted except in the presence of
the Legal Advisor of the Judicial Officer concerned or
another Judicial Officer of equal or higher rank, if available.
G) There should be no handcuffing of a Judicial
Officer. If, however, violent resistance to arrest is offered
or there is imminent need to effect physical arrest in order
to avert danger to life and limb, the person resisting arrest
may be overpowered and handcuffed. In such case,
immediate report shall be made to the District & Sessions
Judge concerned and also to the Chief Justice of the High
Court. But the burden would be on the Police to establish
the necessity for effecting physical arrest and handcuffing
the Judicial Officer and if it be established that the physical
arrest and hand-cuffing of the Judicial Officer was
unjustified, the Police Officers causing or responsible for
such arrest and handcuffing would be guilty of misconduct
and would also be personally liable for compensation
and/or damages as may be summarily determined by the
High Court.
57. The above guidelines are not exhaustive but
these are minimum safeguards which must be observed in
case of arrest of a Judicial Officer. These guidelines should
be implemented by the State Government as well as by the
High Courts. We, accordingly, direct that a copy of the
guidelines shall be forwarded to the Chief Secretaries of all
the State Governments and to all the High Courts with a
direction that the same may be brought to the notice of the
concerned officers for compliance.”W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 10 of 41
14. The aforesaid directions were forwarded to the Chief
Secretaries of all the State Governments and to all the High Courts
with the directions that the same should be brought to the notice
of the concerned Officers for compliance. It is manifest that a
Judicial Officer cannot be arrested without intimating the District
Judge or the High Court even if where a Judicial Officer is to be
arrested. It should be only a technical arrest and the matter should
be communicated to the District & Sessions Judge of the concerned
District as well as the Chief Justice of the High Court forthwith.
These directions also clearly lay down that even if the Judicial
Officer has to be arrested he shall not be taken to the Police
Station without prior order or direction of the concerned District &
Sessions Judge of the concerned District. The Judicial Officer must
be given an opportunity to communicate with his family members,
legal advisors and Judicial Officers including the District & Sessions
Judge. No statement of the Judicial Officer is to be recorded nor
any medical test is to be conducted except in the presence of the
legal advisor of the Judicial Officer concerned or another Judicial
Officer of equal or higher rank.
15. We had prima facie found that all these directions have
been violated by the police and therefore, issued notice on the writ
petition. The Director General of Police was directed to inform this
Court as to whether the judgment in Delhi Judicial Service W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 11 of 41
Association (supra) as well as in the case of D.K. Basu Vrs.
State of West Bengal, (1997) 1 SCC 416 are being brought to
the notice of the police officials or not.
16. The then Director General of Police filed an affidavit in
which it was stated that the judgment in D.K. Basu’s case was
circulated on 18.08.1997. Thereafter, further circulation with
regard to D.K. Basu’s case was reiterated on 03.06.2004, May 05,
2011. However, with regard to the judgment in Delhi Judicial
Service Association (supra) case, the affidavit of the Director
General of Police was that same has been circulated on
16.09.1991. There is not a word in the affidavit of the Director
General of Police that these guidelines were ever re-circulated
after that date.
17. The Director General of Police in his affidavit also
stated that he had ordered the DIG, Southern range to conduct an
inquiry. We had stayed those inquiry proceedings in view of the
fact that the matter was being dealt by this Court on the judicial
side. We had then summoned all the concerned officials including
the Superintendent of Police. The Superintendent of Police stated
that he was on leave on that date and therefore, proceedings were
drawn up against the Officer-in-Charge of the New Capital Police
complex Sri Subrata Chakraborty. The stand of Sri Subrata
Chakraborty was that Sri Motom Debbarma did not mention that W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 12 of 41
he was a Judicial Officer till 2.15 a.m. when he had already been
taken to the lock up. According to Sri Chakraborty, this information
was given by Sri Motom Debbarma, when Sri Chakraborty was not
present in the Police Station. He stated that this information was
given by Sri Motom Debbarma to Sri Jatish Chandra Das, ASI. We,
therefore, directed Sri Jatish Chandra Das to file his affidavit. He
also in his affidavit stated that Sri Motom Debbarma had not
informed that he was a Judicial Officer. We had prima facie found
that there were apparent contradictions in the stand taken by Sri
Subrata Chakraborty and Sri Jatish Chandra Das when compared
to the report of Chief Judicial Magistrate. We had also found that
according to the police, Sri Motom Debbarma had dashed his car
with some other standing vehicle, but number of the said vehicle
was not given. We, thereafter, directed Sri Motom Debbarma also
to file his affidavit. Since Sri Motom Debbarma stated that his wife
was also present we permitted her to file her affidavit also.
18. On 10.09.2014, this Court had passed the following
order after perusing of all the affidavits:-
“We have gone through the affidavits of the judicial
officer as well as the affidavit of the Officer-in-Charge of
the New Capital Complex Police Station. In view of the
totally conflicting averments made in the affidavit we have
no other option but to record the evidence of the parties in
Court.
The matter is very serious in nature where a police
officer has arrested a judicial officer. Initially we were told
that the police officials were not aware that the person
arrested was a judicial officer and that he, the judicial
officer, had not informed at the time when he was arrested W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 13 of 41
that he was a judicial officer. The judicial officer in his
affidavit has not only stated that he informed the police
officials about his rank and position but has also stated
that his wife was present and had informed the police
about these facts. He has also stated that his vehicle
carried a plate giving his designation. Now the counteraffidavit
has been filed by the Officer-in-Charge of the
Police Station and he has in the counter-affidavit stated
that every allegation levelled against him by the Judicial
Magistrate is false. Therefore, either the Magistrate is
telling a lie or the police officer is telling a lie.
We cannot let this matter lie because if the
Magistrate is telling untruth to this Court then he does not
deserve to be in service but if it is the police officer who is
telling a lie on affidavit then he does not deserve to be in
service. Therefore, list the matter for recording of the
statement of Mr. Mutum Debbarma, his wife and any other
witness that Mr. Debbarma may want to produce as well as
the statement of Mr. Subrata Chakraborty and Mr. Jyotish
Chandra Das, A.S.I. and any other officials that the
respondents may like to produce on the next date.
List the matter on 7th November, 2014 for this
purpose.”
Thereafter, the statements of the witnesses were
recorded.
19. According to Sri Motom Debbarma, on 06.06.2014, he
had dinner at his uncle’s house and thereafter, he and his wife
Smt. Sarita Debbarma went in their car to the official residence
provided to his wife within the area of GBP hospital and Agartala
Medical College. They reached the hospital at 11 – 11.30 p.m.
According to Sri Motom Debbarma, when he had just crossed the
Emergency Square Block, his car was stopped by the police. He
was pulled out of the car and was arrested. He was not informed
why he was arrested. The witness clearly states that he informed
the police official, who arrested him that he was a Judicial Officer W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 14 of 41
holding the Post of Civil Judge, Junior Division-cum-Judicial
Magistrate, 1st class, Bishalgarh, West Tripura. According to this
witness, his wife also protested but to no avail. The witness states
thereafter he was taken to the New Capital Complex Police Station
from the hospital on foot. 15 to 20 minutes later his wife and two
of her colleagues Sri Sanjib Debbarma and Sri Aniket Debbarma
also reached the Police Station, but despite his disclosing his
identity he was arrested. According to Sri Motom Debbarma, he
was again taken AGMC & GBP hospital and produced before the
Medical Officer. According to him, the Medical Officer only
conducted a cursory examination and the arrest memo was
prepared. He states that the time was 11.30 p.m. to 12.00
midnight. In the arrest memo, the name of wife of the Judicial
Officer was also mentioned. The witness states that the Officer-inCharge
of the Police Station Sri Subrata Chakraborty not only
arrested him, but spoke to him in a derogatory manner,
manhandled him and pushed him inside the lock up. Next morning
he was released on bail. In reply to a Court question he stated that
just above the number plate of the vehicle there was another plate
fixed on his vehicle in which his designation as Civil Judge-cumJudicial
Magistrate, 1st Class was clearly mentioned in bold letters.
20. The witness was cross-examined and was confronted
with his affidavit filed earlier in which it was not mentioned that his
wife was present at the time when he was initially detained. On W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 15 of 41
perusal of the affidavit, it is apparent that in the first affidavit filed
by Sri Motom Debbarma it is not mentioned that his wife was
accompanying him. Even in the reply to the show cause notice
issued to him he had not mentioned that his wife had accompanied
him. In the affidavit all that is stated is that his wife was present at
the Police Station. When asked why he did not inform his cousin
Sri Sukhendu Debbarma, who bailed him out next morning, the
witness replied that he could not contact his cousin because his
mobile phone etc. had been seized by the police. He was
confronted with the affidavit wherein this fact is not mentioned.
The witness was also asked why below his signature in the arrest
memo he had not given his designation. The answer of Sri Motom
Debbarma was that since he was only required to sign he had not
mentioned his designation. He was asked if he could recollect what
conversation took place between him and the police officials, who
detained him at the GBP hospital. The answer of Sri Motom
Debbarma was that he could not recollect all the conversation. He
only remembered that he was told that he had committed an
offence and was to be arrested. Suggestion was put to the witness
that he could not remember anything because he was drunk. He
denied the said suggestion. He also denied the suggestion that he
disclosed his identity of being a Judicial Magistrate for the first
time at 2.15 a.m.W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 16 of 41
21. This Court put certain questions to Sri Motom
Debbarma and the same are quoted hereunder:-
“Court question:- Did your vehicle have any sign to say that
it is a vehicle belonging to a judicial officer?
Answer:- The vehicle which I was driving and which was
apprehended by the police has Registration No. TR01Z-
0597. The said vehicle is registered in my name. There was
another plate fixed on the vehicle in which my designation
as Civil Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class was clearly
mentioned in block letters.
Court question:- Mr. Motom Debbarma after you were
released on bail why did you not immediately inform the
Registrar General, High Court of Tripura or the District
Judge, West Tripura or the Chief Judicial Magistrate about
the fact that you had been arrested by the police and had
been released on bail?
Answer:- I did not inform my superior officials till the next
day i.e. Monday, the 8th June, 2014 when I informed the
CJM about the occurrence. I am sorry that I did not inform
my senior officials or the High Court about this occurrence
prior to that.”
22. Smt. Sarita Debbarma, wife of Sri Motom Debbarma
also appeared in the witness box. According to her she and her
husband left her husband’s uncle’s house at about 10/10.30 p.m.
and reached GBP hospital about 11.00 p.m. and her husband was
arrested despite the fact that he disclosed that he was a Member
of the Tripura Judicial Service and posted as a Magistrate at
Bishalgarh. According to her, after her husband was taken away by
the police she contacted her colleagues Sri Sanjib Debbarma and
Sri Aniket Debbarma. Thereafter, all of them then proceeded to
the Capital Complex Police Station. Again her husband disclosed
his identity as a Judicial Officer, but the police officials did not W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 17 of 41
bother about the same. According to her, the police manhandled
her husband and she returned to her quarter. The witness in her
cross-examination stated that she did not inform her immediate
superior about the occurrence. She denied the suggestion that she
had not accompanied her husband and was not present with him
when he was detained. According to her she had informed her
husband’s cousin Sri Sukhendu Debbarma about the arrest of her
husband immediately after he was arrested at G.B. hospital. She
further stated that her cousin came next morning at 9.00 a.m.
23. Sri Subrata Chakraborty, the Officer-in-Charge of the
New Capital Complex Police Station stated that when Sri Motom
Debbarma was initially detained, his wife Smt. Sarita Debbarma
was not present. According to him, Sri Motom Debbarma did not
disclose the fact that he was a Judicial Officer. He further states
that he was not present when Motom Debbarma was initially
detained and Sri Motom Debbarma was detained by ASI, Jatish
Chandra Das. According to this witness, Sri Jatish Chandra Das
informed him about this fact in front of the Emergency Gate soon
after the arrest and brought Sri Motom Debbarma. He noticed
smell of alcohol from Sri Motom Debbarma and therefore, he
directed Sri Jatish Chandra Das to get Motom Debbarma medically
examined. He further states that the medical examination of the
accused was conducted in his presence. In the mean time, he, the
O.C. became busy with other issues. He admitted that nobody was W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 18 of 41
injured or hit by the vehicle of Sri Motom Debbarma. Attention of
the witness was drawn to the following lines in the prosecution
report, Exbt. P4, which reads as follows:-
“In these circumstances to save Sri Motom
Debbarma from the anger of local people took in safe
custody. Said Motom Debbarma introduced himself as
Judicial Magistrate of Ld. SDJM Bishalgarh Court. Police
paid proper respect to him but he was more violent and
was using slang languages towards police. It was found
the smell of alcohol from his mouth. Finding no other
alternative said Motom Debbarma was arrested u/s. 202
M.V.Act.”
24. When the Court put a question to him as to what this
witness has to say because the police report clearly indicated that
the person arrested had disclosed that he was a Judicial
Magistrate, the answer of the witness was that the police report
had been typed by one Sub Inspector and there may be mistake in
typing out the police report. He also stated that police report had
been prepared after the accused was arrested and therefore, the
fact that he was Judicial Magistrate was mentioned there. He
denied the suggestions that Sri Motom Debbarma disclosed his
identity as Judicial Officer or that he had manhandled Sri Motom
Debbarma. Thereafter, the Court put certain question to witness
Sri Subrata Chakraborty and attention of the witness was drawn to
the Entry Nos. 305 in the General Diary register recorded at 2.15
a.m., which reads as follows:-
“This time ASI Jyotish Ch. Das with PS staff retd. To
the PS with Marginally noted A/P. Who was arrested W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 19 of 41
u/s 202 M.V. Act. During mobile/L/O duty at GBP
hospital in c/w BSF firing upon public at South
Ramnagar, under PS West Agartala. In this connection
9 prsons were admitted at G.B.hospital and one
civilion and one BSF personnel was killed. The
situation of G.B. hospital was very much tensed. There
was havoc gathering. In the meantime one vehicle
which b/reg. No.TR01-Z-0597 car was driving so
recklessly and dangerously and the police party
passed signal to stop the said vehicle. But the driver
of the said vehicle was adamant. The people was
excited and angry upon the driver of the said vehicle.
The officer with the assistance of police party rescued
the driver (i.e. the marginally noted A/P). Who found
drunk and was very excited in his behaviour using
slang language towards police and public. However
the officer managed to send the said vehicle to PS for
safe custody and arranged medical examination where
attending Doctor opined that the accused has feature
of consumption of alcohol and at present he cannot
take care of himself. Subsequently the A/P is kept in
PS custody after observing all legal formalities. PR is
being submitted u/s 179/184/185 of M.V. Act against
the noted a/p. While he introduced himself as J.M.
Proper respect has been paid to him.But till then he is
very much un-rully in his behaviour.”
25. The witness admitted that in this Entry, it is mentioned
that Sri Motom Debbarma had introduced himself as Judicial
Magistrate. This Court put certain questions to the witness and it
would be appropriate to refer to the said questions and answers:-
Court Question: In the police report it is clearly stated
that Sri Motom Debbarma had disclosed that he was a
Judicial Magistrate and thereafter he was arrested. What
have you to say?
Ans. This police report has been typed by one of our SubInspector
and there may be mistake in typing out the
police report. The police report was prepared after the
accused had been arrested and there appears to be some
mistake in this police report. This police report was
prepared after the accused had not only been arrested but
released on bail and therefore, there may have been some
error in this police report.
Court Question: Were you In-charge of the Police Station?W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 20 of 41
Ans. Yes.
Court Question: Was the General Diary Register being
maintained under your instruction?
Ans. Yes.
Court Question: Show the entry relating to the arrest of Sri
Motom Debbarma.
Ans. The witness answers that the entry in
question is Entry No.305 recorded at 2.15 a.m.
Court Question: Is this the first entry with regard to his
arrest?
Ans. It is correct that this is the first entry with regard to
the arrest of Motom Debbarma.
Court Question : In this entry it is mentioned that he had
dislosed his identity as a Judicial Magistrate. What have
you to say?
Ans. It is correct in this very entry it is mentioned that he
had disclosed his identity as a Judicial Magistrate.
Witness states that at 2.30 a.m. he came to
know that the person who was arrested was a Judicial
Officer. Thereafter he returned to the police station at 3.05
a.m.
Court Question : Did you then know that he was a Judicial
Officer?
Ans. At 3.05 a.m. when I returned to the police station and
asked Sri Motom Debbarma whether he was a Judicial
Officer, he used abusive and derogatory language against
me which cannot be repeated in court. I then asked
him whether he wanted to contact anybody or to get in
touch with anybody. He refused to call anybody.
Court Question: Show the entry in the General Diary Book
with regard to the fact which you have now stated in the
Court?
Ans. There is no such record in the General Diary Book
which is present in Court.
Court Question: Mr. Chakraborty in your affidavit you have
stated that you are aware of the judgment of the Supreme
Court passed in Delhi Judicial Service Association, Tis
Hazari Court, Delhi V. State of Gujarat & Ors., AIR 1991 SC
2176. Is it correct?W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 21 of 41
Ans. It is true that in my affidavit I have stated that I was
well aware of the judgment delivered by the Supreme
Court in Delhi Judicial Service Association, Tis Hazari Court,
Delhi V. State of Gujarat & Ors., AIR 1991 SC 2176.
Court Question : Now what do you want to say?
Ans. The witness broke down in Court and is on the verge
of tears and submits that he was not fully aware about the
scope of the judgment of the Apex Court. The witness then
stated that he was in fact not aware about the judgment in
question. He also apologised profusely.
26. Since the witness was only apologizing and had totally
broken down, no further cross-examination was conducted.
However, from the conduct of the witness, it was apparent that he
was aware that he had made a false statement and was
apologizing for the same.
27. As far as Sri Jatish Chandra Das is concerned, his
stand is also that Sri Motom Debbarma never informed him that he
was a Judicial Officer. Sri Jatish Chandra Das in his evidence stated
that he had detained the accused and at that time Motom
Debbarma was alone and his wife was not accompanying him. He
stated that he did not see any signboard on the vehicle which
would indicate that vehicle belonged to a Magistrate. He also
states that the Entry No.305 in the General Diary Register dated
07.06.2014 at 2.15 a.m. was recorded by him. He also states that
arrest memo and bail bond was prepared by him. In reply to the
Court question whether he had prepared the Prosecution Report W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 22 of 41
(Exhibit-4) he stated that the Prosecution Report was prepared by
Sub Inspector, Sri Prajit Malakar. When further asked on whose
instructions Sri Prajit Malakar had prepared the report, the witness
replied that he had handed over the arrest memo and G.D. entry
report to Sri Prajit Malakar who then prepared the prosecution
report on the basis of these documents. He however, admitted that
a number of facts which were mentioned in the prosecution report
are not mentioned in the General Diary register or arrest memo
especially with regard to the fact that before his arrest Sri Motom
Debbarma had disclosed his identity as a Judicial Officer. This
witness has signed the Prosecution Report and admitted that he
signs documents only after he is aware what is written in the
documents. This witness was cross-examined in detail.
28. Relevant portion of his cross-examination reads as
follows:-
“Cross examination by learned Sr. Counsel, Mr.
P.K.Biswas:-
Question: Did you make any statement before Sri
Jayanta Chakraborty, Addl. SP (Urban), West Tripura?
Ans. I did not make any statement.
The witness was confronted with the
statement recorded in Bangla by the Addl. SP(Urban),
photocopy of which has been annexed with the reply filed
by Sri Balasubhramaniam, Director General of Police,
Tripura. When the document was shown to the witness, he
stated that there was a lapse of his memory and he had
forgotten that he had made a statement to the Addl.
SP(Urban). He then stated –My statement was recorded
before the Addl. SP (Urban). W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 23 of 41
The Court has directed this witness to read
entire statement which is at page 55 to 57 of the Court file.
Attention of the witness is drawn to the
statement.
Question by Mr. P.K.Biswas, learned Sr. Advocate: Whether
you in your statement have stated that you arrested Sri
Motom Debbarma at the asking of the Officer-in-Charge of
the P.S.?
Ans. No.
Cross examination by Mr. P.K.Biswas:
It is incorrect to suggest that my statement that Sri
Motom Debbarma had never disclosed his identity is not
correct.
Court Question: Have you read the statement?
Ans. Yes.
Court Question: In the statement it is written that you
arrested the accused at the instance of the Officer-inCharge
of the P.S.
Ans. Yes, I have arrested the person.
Court Question: Have you written that you have arrested
at the instance of the Officer-in-Charge of the P.S.?
Ans. Yes.
(The demeanour of the witness shows that he is
trying to evade giving correct and truthful answers and is
trying to hide the true facts from the court.)”
From the aforesaid portion of the cross-examination, it
is apparent that this witness is a complete liar. He first stated that
he had not made any statement before Sri Jayanta Chakraborty,
Addl. S.P. (Urban), West Tripura. When the statement was brought
to his notice then he stated that he had a lapse of his memory.
Even after he had read the entire statement he denied that in the W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 24 of 41
statement so recorded he had stated that he arrested Sri Motom
Debbarma at the asking of Sri Subrata Chakraborty, Officer-inCharge
of the Police Station. When the Court put another question
to him, specifically pointing out the portion of the statement, he
first tried to avoid giving any answers and thereafter, his
demeanour was recorded.
29. The witness in a reply to another Court question
admitted that he examined the vehicle of Sri Motom Debbarma,
but stated that there was no plate on the vehicle showing that it
belonged to a Judicial Magistrate-cum-Civil Judge. It would also be
pertinent to refer to some other questions of his statement in
detail –
Court Question: Why did you not make any entry with
regard to the arrest of Sri Motom Debbarma and with
regard to the seizure of his vehicle in the G.D. Book prior to
his disclosure that he was a Judicial Officer?
Ans. When I detained Motom Debbarma, he had disclosed
that he was a judicial officer but keeping in view his
drunken state, I could not believe that he was a Judicial
Officer.
Court Question: Were you aware about the judgment of the
Supreme Court in Delhi Judicial Service Association, Tis
Hazari Court, Delhi V. State of Gujarat & Ors., AIR 1991 SC
2176?
Ans. Yes, I was aware of this judgment.
Court Question: Why did you then not bring this fact to the
notice of the superior Judicial Officers in accordance with
the judgment?
Ans. I thought that information will be given by my
superior officer.W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 25 of 41
The statement of this witness clearly shows that he has
made false statement in his affidavit. Now, according to him, the
Judicial Officer had told him that he was a Judicial Officer but since
the Judicial Officer was very drunk he could not believe that he
was a Judicial Officer.
30. Sri Prajit Malakar was the other witness examined.
Firstly, he stated that he had prepared the prosecution report
(Exhibit-4) only on the basis of the G.D. Entry No.305, the arrest
memo (Exhibit-2), the bail bond (Exhibit-3) and the medical report
(Exhibit-5). However, when confronted with the documents and
asked to explain how they were other facts stated in the
prosecution report which were not mentioned in these documents,
the witness stated as follows:-
“I had prepared this prosecution report not only on the
basis of the documents but also on the basis of information
given to me by ASI, Jatish Ch. Das.”
31. After we had recorded the statements we had found
that the statement made by the previous Director General of Police
was not fully correct and the present Director General of Police was
asked to file an affidavit answering the following queries:-
(i) Whether, after the circular which was issued in the
year 1991 consequent to the judgment passed by the
Apex Court in Delhi Judicial Service Association’s
case, any other communication was addressed to the
officials from the year 1991 onwards informing them
about this judgment; W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 26 of 41
(ii) Whether, during training of these officials, this
judgment is being brought to their notice. If the
judgment is being brought to the notice, then the
supporting material shall be placed on record with
contemporaneous evidence to show that right from
the year 1991 to 2014 in all the courses being
conducted, this judgment is being brought to the
notice of the police officials;
(iii) We further direct that within 15 days from today, the
Director General of Police shall send a copy of this
judgment to all the police officers belonging to the
Indian Police Service, Tripura Cadre and to the
Tripura Police Service. It shall be the duty of each
and every officer of the Indian Police Service and
Tripura Police Service to bring this judgment to the
notice of all the concerned police officials and if in
future any occurrence of this type takes place, then
we shall not limit ourselves to taking action against
the sub-ordinate police officials but we shall take
action against the Head of the Institution and the
police officials who are in-charge of the area in
question. It is their responsibility to educate the
constables and the other officials at the lower grade
about the judgment in question.”
32. Affidavit has now been filed by Director General of
Police and relevant portion of the affidavit reads as follows:-
“6. That In reply to query No.1 of the order dated-28-04-
2015 of the Hon’ble High Court of Tripura I beg to submit
that there is no record available regarding re-circulation of
circular No.3/91 or any other communication addressed to
the officials after 16.09.1991 onwards informing them
about this judgment.”
He, however, has added that on 12.05.2015 he has
issued a fresh circular in this regard. He has also enclosed the
training programme of the police recruits but we find nothing in
the programme which would indicate that the judgment of the
Apex Court was ever brought to the notice of the police officials. W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 27 of 41
33. The other relevant portion his affidavit reads as
follows:-
“It is admitted that no specific course has been
conducted by the Academy for awareness of the trainees
exclusively on the topic, “guidelines to be followed before
arresting a Judicial Officer”, hence no documentary
evidence is available to that effect. However, to buttress
the contention that trainees were imparted lessons
regarding the arrest of judicial officer, I crave leave to rely
and refer the notes on Sec 41 Cr PC from Criminal Major
Acts by Justice Khastagir, at the time of hearing, a copy of
which is enclosed herein and is marked as Annexure D/6 of
this affidavit.”
34. We have set out all the facts in detail. At the outset,
we are constrained to observed that the stand of the State and the
senior officials especially, the then Director General of Police has
been of virtual non-cooperation with the Court. We are sorry to
observe that the then Director General of Police made a false
statement in Court that the judgment of the Apex Court in Delhi
Judicial Service Association (supra) was specifically brought to
the notice of all the police officials. In the affidavit, now filed by
Director General of Police, Mr. K. Nagaraj, it is obvious that there
is no record available with the police that the original circular
No.3/91 was ever circulated thereafter till 12.05.2015. The DGP
has mentioned that during the lectures to the trainee officers and
during refresher courses the book ‘Criminal Major Acts’ by Justice
Khastgir is being referred to in which, there is reference to the
aforesaid judgment. In our view, this is not sufficient compliance
with the judgment of the Apex Court and it was the duty of the
Director General of Police and the State to ensure that the W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 28 of 41
judgment of the Apex Court in Delhi Judicial Service
Association (supra) is specifically brought to the notice of all the
new recruits and newly appointed police officials.
35. On perusal of the evidence, we are clearly of the view
that the case set up by the police officials that they did not know
the identity of the Judicial Officer is totally incorrect. The Judicial
Officer has specifically stated that he informed the police officials
about this fact. Furthermore, it now stands established that the car
of the Judicial Officer in addition to the registration number plate
have another plate in which, his designation of Civil Judge (Jr.
Div), Bishalgarh, West Tripura was clearly mentioned. The case of
the police is that the Judicial Officer was driving this vehicle rashly
and negligently. According to the police, a large number of people
had gathered at the hospital because there had been some firing
incident between the BSF and local persons. When the allegation
was that the vehicle was being driven rashly and negligently, it
cannot be believed that the Officer-in-Charge and the ASI, Jatish
Chandra Das did not notice this plate giving the description of the
Judicial Officer.
36. There are contradictions in the statement of the police
officials. Whereas the Officer-in-Charge, Sri Subrata Chakraborty
states that the Judicial Officer was detained by ASI, Jatish Chandra W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 29 of 41
Das and he (O.C.) was informed about the said detention of a
person by the ASI outside the Emergency Block. Mr. Jatish
Chandra Das in a statement to the Addl. S.P. (Urban) has clearly
stated that he arrested the driver of the vehicle on the asking of
the Officer-in-Charge, Sri Subrata Chakraborty. The ASI Jatish
Chandra Das has tried to evade this issue in cross-examination. He
firstly, denied that his statement was recorded by the Addl. S.P.
but when confronted with the statement he had to admit that he
had made such statement and finally, he admitted that in the said
statement, it was recorded that he had arrested Sri Motom
Debbarma at the instance of Sri Subrata Chakraborty. We are,
therefore, clearly of the view that both these police officials were
aware that the person that they had detained was a Judicial
Officer.
37. Admittedly, both these officials did not care to follow
the law laid down by the Apex Court in Delhi Judicial Service
Association (supra) case. No intimation was given to the District
Judge or the High Court. We feel that even if it was a case of rash
and negligent driving, it was not such a serious offence where the
offender much less a Judicial Officer should have been arrested.
Even if such arrest was to be made communication was required to
be sent to the District & Sessions Judge and the Chief Justice of
the High Court. The Apex Court has clearly held that no Judicial W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 30 of 41
Officer should be taken to the Police Station and such a Judicial
Officer should be provided means to communicate with his family
members, legal advisors and Judicial Officers including the District
& Sessions Judge. The Apex Court has also clearly held that no
medical test of a Judicial Officer can be conducted except in the
presence of the legal adviser or the Judicial Officer or another
Judicial Officer of equal or higher rank. None of the directions of
the Apex Court referred to hereinabove were admittedly, complied
by the police officials. Both the officials in their affidavits clearly
stated that they aware of the judgment in Delhi Judicial Service
Association (supra) case. Therefore, as per their own affidavits
they were aware of the law laid down by the Apex Court. Their
only defence is that they were not aware that the person who was
arrested was a Judicial Officer. This defence has been found to be
absolutely false. Therefore, we have no doubt in our mind that
both the police officials will have to be dealt with strictly and
sternly.
Another shocking aspect of the matter is that the
offence, if any, committed was a bailable offence and the police
itself should have released the detained person on bail
immediately and there was no question of detaining the person.
38. In case, the police officials had followed the law and
informed the Registrar General or the District & Sessions Judge or W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 31 of 41
even if the Chief Justice had been informed in that event, the Chief
Justice or the Registrar General or the District & Sessions Judge or
any other senior Judicial Officer could have visited the spot and in
case, it was found that the Judicial Officer was drunk his complete
medical examination could have been conducted and serious action
taken against him.
39. Before passing orders, on the conduct of the police
officials, we are constrained to observe that though the police
officer may be wrong in stating that they were unaware of the
identity of the Judicial Officer, the conduct of the Judicial Officer is
also not totally above board.

40. Admittedly, according to Sri Debbarma, he was
returning home late at night on 6th June, 2014 (Friday) after
having dinner and a few drinks at his uncle’s house. His stand in
Court is that his wife was accompanying him. However, when Sri
Debbarma filed his reply to the show cause issued by the Registrar
General, he did not state that his wife had accompanied him from
his uncle’s house to her residence. He has clearly stated that he
was going back to his wife’s residence. He had not mentioned that
he and his wife were returning to their residence. Therefore, it
appears to us that his wife was not present when he was initially
detained, but she went to the police station later on with her W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 32 of 41
colleagues. It is true that the wife in her statement has mentioned
that she was accompanying her husband, but we are unable to
accept her version. If she was actually present she would have
immediately after the arrest informed some colleague of her
husband or some lawyer or the uncle from whose house they were
returning. She would not keep silent at night. In her statement,
she has stated that after her husband was detained/arrested at
11.00 p.m., he was taken away by the police and then she went to
her residence and contacted her colleagues and then they went to
the police station. Her version that she had informed her
husband’s cousin Sri Sukhendu Debbarma about the arrest of her
husband immediately after he was arrested does not appeared to
be correct because in normal circumstances the cousin should
have immediately rushed to the hospital.
41. Another important aspect of the matter is that in the
prosecution report which was filed, it was clearly mentioned that
the person driving the vehicle was drunk and he was arrested
because the local public was very angry. It is also mentioned that
said Sri Motom Debbarma introduced himself as Judicial Magistrate
of learned SDJM, Bishalgarh Court. The police paid proper respect
to him, but the official was violent and was using abusive
languages towards the police. Smell of alcohol was coming from
his mouth and finding no alternative, Motom Debbarma was W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 33 of 41
arrested. This police report is dated 07.06.2014 before any action
has been taken by the High Court and from perusal of the police
report, it is apparent that the police officials were not even aware
of the judgment of the Apex Court in Delhi Judicial Service
Association (supra) case.
42. We are sorry to observe that the Superintendent of
Police in reply to the show cause notice tried to build up a new
case that Sri Motom Debbarma only informed the police that he
was a Judicial Officer when he was brought to the police station
but that version was not believed because he was totally
intoxicated. Sri Motom Debbarma was detained at 10.30 – 11.00
p.m. and Sri Motom Debbarma was arrested at 2.30 a.m. By that
time, he could not have been so drunk. In the arrest memo, the
police has recorded that he was a Magistrate and at least, at that
moment, the High Court should have been informed. It is indeed a
sad state of affairs that the police never informed the High Court
or the Sessions Judge for two days about the arrest of the Judicial
Officer till the Registrar General issued notices pursuant to the
directions of this Court.
43. The Judicial Officer could not have been medically
examined in the absence of any other Judicial Officer or Legal
Adviser. However, all the witnesses state that the Judicial Officer W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 34 of 41
was drunk and in fact, the version of the police officials is that the
Judicial Officer was so drunk that he was not in control of his
senses. The medical certificate also shows that the doctor found
that Sri Motom Debbarma, son of late Ramesh Debbarma was
talking excessively and smell of alcohol was emanating from his
mouth. The impression of the doctor is that the Judicial Officer had
consumed alcohol and was not in a position to take care of himself.
The doctor has not been examined in these proceedings and we
feel we should say nothing more in the matter, but the doctor shall
be examined in departmental proceedings, which have already
been initiated against Sri Motom Debbarma. The High Court on the
administrative side shall deal with Sri Motom Debbarma.
44. We, however, even with regard to the Judicial Officer
cannot lay matters lie. The Judicial Officer should have been aware
of the judgment in Delhi Judicial Service Association (supra)
case. It was also his duty to inform his superior officials that he
had been illegally detained by the police. He did not do so. He in
fact, did not inform the High Court or the Sessions Judge about
this fact. After the evidence was recorded we had directed the
Judicial Officer concerned to file an affidavit to state why he did
not inform the Registrar General of the High Court or his District
Judge about his arrest immediately after being released on bail. An
affidavit has been filed and we are constrained to observe that a
portion of the affidavit on the face of it appears to be false. W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 35 of 41
According to Sri Motom Debbarma, he was released from the
police station on 07.06.2014 (Saturday) at about 9.30 a.m. He
was upset and perplexed and thereafter, he had a bath and after
taking food he went to the chamber and learned Chief Judicial
Magistrate, West Tripura on 07.06.2014 between 3.00 p.m. to
4.00 p.m. and narrated the incident to the learned Chief Judicial
Magistrate. Thereafter, he went to the Court of the learned District
Judge at about 5.00 p.m. to inform him about this matter but he
could not meet the learned District Judge and thereafter, he came
back to the Office of the Chief Judicial Magistrate. In the mean
time, he came to know that the learned District Judge had left his
chamber. He further submits that he was mentally shocked and
therefore, on 09.06.2014, he reported the matter to the learned
District Judge over phone and also met him that day and narrated
him the incident and later he met the Registrar General on the
same day.
45. This affidavit on the face of it appears to be false. As
noted earlier, on 08.06.2014 (Sunday), a news item appeared in
one of the local newspaper (Dainik Sambad) about the arrest of Sri
Motom Debbarma. After the news item was brought to the notice
of the Chief Justice, the Registrar General was immediately
directed to call for the report of Superintendent of Police and also
from the Chief Judicial Magistrate. It is only thereafter that the
Superintendent of Police made a report on 09.06.2014. The report W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 36 of 41
is totally evasive and it does not make reference to the judgment
of the Apex Court. The report of the Chief Judicial Magistrate is
also dated 09.06.2014 and in his report, the Chief Judicial
Magistrate has not made any reference to any visit of Sri Motom
Debbarma to his chamber on 07.06.2014. In reply to the show
cause notice issued to Sri Motom Debbarma, he has not stated
that he met the Chief Judicial Magistrate on 07.06.2014 as is now
stated by him.
46. Sri Subhasish Sharma Roy, the Chief Judicial
Magistrate was also directed to file affidavit in Court on
23.12.2014. He has stated that on 08.06.2014, he received
telephonic instructions from the Registrar General of the High
Court to submit his report with regard to the news item, which had
appeared in the paper. Thereafter, he directed Sri Subrata
Chakraborty, Officer-in-Charge of the New Capital Complex Police
Station to meet him in his office chamber at 1.30 p.m. since he
was busy with some seminar of the State Legal Services Authority
on 08.06.2014, which was a Sunday in the earlier part of day. Sri
Subrata Chakraborty met him at about 1.30/2.00 p.m. He has
clearly in his affidavit stated that Sri Motom Debbarma met him for
the first time on 09.06.2014 between 5.30/5.45 p.m. when he also
noticed a plate affixed in front of the vehicle of Sri Motom
Debbarma showing his designation. His affidavit clearly belies the W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 37 of 41
statement of Sri Motom Debbarma that Sri Motom Debbarma had
met the Chief Judicial Magistrate on 07.06.2014.
47. Now we have to decide what action has to be taken. As
far as the Judicial Officer is concerned, we are clearly of the view
that disciplinary proceedings should be initiated against him and
he should be dealt with sternly. We have also found that he had
made a false statement in this Court with regard to his visiting the
Chief Judicial Magistrate on 07.06.2014. This is a very serious
issue as far as Judicial Officer is concerned. These issues will be
decided in separate disciplinary proceedings on the administrative
side. However, keeping in view the conduct of the Judicial Officer,
we cannot totally disbelieve the police officials that the Judicial
Officer may have been drunk.
48. As far as the police officials are concerned, we have
found that they are guilty on many counts. Most importantly, they
have violated with impunity all the directions issued in Delhi
Judicial Service Association (supra) case. They filed affidavits
in Court stating that they were aware about these directions, but
admittedly, they have not complied with the same. We, at the
same time, must notice that Sri Subrata Chakraborty in crossexamination
when he broke down and started crying firstly, stated
that he was not fully aware of the judgment and then stated he
was not at all aware about the judgment. He also apologized W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 38 of 41
profusely. It appears to us that the senior police officials knowing
that they had been negligent in not communicating the judgment
of the Apex Court in Delhi Judicial Service Association (supra)
case to the new recruits and officials tried to cover up the matter
by compelling Sri Subrata Chakraborty and Sri Jatish Chandra Das
to state that they were not aware that the person arrested was a
Judicial Officer. We have already found that this defence is totally
untrue. Even Sri Jatish Chandra Das has admitted that at the time
of detention, Sri Motom Debbarma had proclaimed that he was a
Judicial Officer, but the police official did not believe him. The
identity of the person detained could have been easily verified. The
plate on his car showed that he was a Judicial Officer and
therefore, this defence is totally false.
49. In view of the above discussion, we have no hesitation
in holding that the two police officers have willfully and knowingly
disobeyed the law laid down by the Apex Court and the directions
given in Delhi Judicial Service Association (supra) case. Not
only that we also hold that Sri Subrata Chakraborty and Sri Jatish
Chandra Das have not only disobeyed the directions given by the
Apex Court but have filed false affidavits in this Court. They have
also made false statements on oath in Court and are guilty of
having committed perjury. W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 39 of 41
50. We could have on the basis of these false statements
made by the police officials initiated criminal proceedings against
them. We could have also initiated contempt proceedings against
them for violating the directions of the Apex Court. We could have
also referred the matter to the Apex Court for initiating
proceedings against the police officials. We on an overall
consideration feel that criminal action need not be taken against
the police officials but they must be dealt with strictly and
departmental proceedings should be initiated against Sri Subrata
Chakraborty and Sri Jatish Chandra Das for having misconducted
themselves in as much as they have violated the law laid down by
the Apex Court and have also made false statement in this Court
and have filed false affidavit which is a clear case of misconduct.
51. We, therefore, direct the State to initiate disciplinary
proceedings against both these police officials for imposition of
major penalty.
52. We make it clear that in the disciplinary proceedings,
the findings given by us in this judgment shall not be questioned
nor shall it be a defence for these two officials to say that they are
not guilty of disobeying the directions of the Apex Court or that
they have not made a false statement in Court. These findings of
fact given by us in this judgment after recording evidence cannot W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 40 of 41
be called in question in disciplinary proceedings. The disciplinary
proceedings will be based on this judgment. We may also indicate
that Sri Subrata Chakraborty, Officer-in-Charge has at least shown
repentance and apologized albeit at the last stage when he was
caught telling lies red handed. As far as Sri Jatish Chandra Das,
ASI is concerned, he has shown no repentance. His demeanour
during the Court was also such that he was obviously telling lies
and trying to evade giving truthful answers. These factors shall be
taken into consideration by the disciplinary authority while
imposing penalty in the disciplinary proceedings. Since virtually no
findings have to be given in the disciplinary proceedings, the
disciplinary authority shall only be required to issue notice to Sri
Subrata Chakraborty and Sri Jatish Chandra Das to show cause
why major penalty should not be imposed upon them on the basis
of this judgment. Only the issue of punishment is to be decided in
these proceedings.
53. We also direct that the Registrar General of this Court
shall place a copy of this judgment on the administrative side
before the Full Court for taking appropriate action against the
Judicial Officer Sri Motom Debbarma.
54. We also direct the Chief Secretary, State of Tripura,
the Secretary, Home, State of Tripura and the Director General of
Police to ensure that the judgment of the Apex Court in Delhi W.P. (C) (Suo Motu) 220 of 2014 Page 41 of 41
Judicial Service Association (supra) case is again circulated
and made part of the curriculum in the main training courses and
also in all refresher courses. We make it clear that in future, if any
instance of this type comes to our knowledge, we shall not only
take disciplinary action but shall not hesitate to proceed against
such officials under the Contempt of Courts Act and under criminal
law in which case they may be sent behind bars also.


 JUDGE CHIEF JUSTICE
sima
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