Was Tajinder Bagga’s arrest ‘unconstitutional and illegal’? Rules explained in 10 points
New Delhi, May 03: The arrest of BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga by the Punjab Police after dramatic developments has led to a huge controversy. The incident involving the police of three states triggered a BJP-AAP slugfest.
In the high-voltage drama that followed, Punjab police team arrested BJP leader Bagga from his Delhi residence. While he was being taken to Punjab, the police team was stopped by Haryana police, a BJP-ruled state, and Bagga was handed over to the Delhi Police.
The AAP rules Delhi and Punjab while the BJP governs Haryana. However, Delhi Police comes under the Union Home ministry and not the AAP-led Delhi government.
Punjab Police had booked Bagga on charges of making provocative statements, promoting enmity and criminal intimidation. The case was registered on a complaint of AAP leader from Mohali Sunny Ahluwalia.
Were Punjab Police right in arresting BJP leader Tejinderpal Singh Bagga? The issue has now turned into a huge controversy. Lets us have a look at some of the court observations.
Firstly, we should understand that police is a State subject, and thus the jurisdiction of a state police is limited to the state. However, the state police operate throughout the territory of India. That is when the issues would be raised on how interstate investigations should be done.
Taking seriosu note of the police violating the procedure for inter-state investigation, the Delhi High Court had in 2019 laid down some guidelines in such cases.
- As per the guidelines, before visiting the other state, the police officer must endeavour to establish contact with the local police station in whose jurisdiction he is to conduct the investigation.
- He must carry with him the translated copies of the complaint/FIR (first information report) and other documents in the language of the state which he intends to visit.
- After reaching the other state, the police should inform the police station concerned of the purpose of his visit to seek assistance and cooperation.
- It is the duty of the concerned SHO (station house officer) to provide all legal assistance to him.
- I making an arrest, the concerned officer must present all the facts and record reasons in writing showing why the arrest is necessary.
- Later, he can move the Jurisdictional Magistrate to seek arrest under Section 78 and 79 Cr PC.
- The arrested person must be given an opportunity to consult his lawyer before he is taken out of state.
- Before departure, the police officer must visit the local police station and cause an entry made in the daily diary, specifying the name and address of the person(s) being taken out of the state and articles, if any, recovered.
- Endeavor should be made to obtain transit remand after producing the arrestee before the nearest magistrate.
- The arrested person must be produced before the jurisdictional magistrate within 24 hours from the date of arrest.
The Punjab cops had not informed the local police in Delhi before arresting Bagga, a Delhi Police official said.
However, Punjab Police said in a statement that Bagga had been served five notices "under Sections 41 A CrPC to come and join the investigation. The notices dated April 9, 11, 15, 22 and 28 were duly served upon. Despite that, the accused deliberately did not join the investigation". It said due process of law had been followed.