September 05, 2018.
The question as to whether a writ of habeas corpus could be maintained in respect of a person who is in police custody pursuant to a remand order passed by the jurisdictional Magistrate in connection with the offence under investigation,?
This issue has been considered in the case of Saurabh Kumar through his father Vs. Jailor, Koneila Jail and Anr., and Manubhai Ratilal Patel Vs. State of Gujarat and Ors. It is no more res integra. In the present case, admittedly, when the writ petition for issuance of a writ of habeas corpus was filed by the respondent on 18th/19th March 2018 and decided by the High Court on 21st March, 2018 her husband Rizwan Alam Siddique was in police custody pursuant to an order passed by the Magistrate granting his police custody in connection with FIR No.I31 vide order dated 17th March 2018 and which police remand was to enure till 23rd March 2018. Further, without challenging the stated order of the Magistrate, a writ petition was filed limited to the relief of habeas corpus. In that view of the matter, it was not a case of continued illegal detention but the incumbent was in judicial custody by virtue of an order passed by the jurisdictional agistrate, which was in force, granting police remand during investigation of a criminal case. Resultantly, no writ of habeas corpus could be issued.
Suffice it to observe that since no writ of habeas corpus could be issued in the fact situation of the present case, the High Court should have been loath to enter upon the merits of the arrest in absence of any challenge to the judicial order passed by the Magistrate granting police custody till 23rd March, 2018 and more particularly for reasons mentioned in that order of the Magistrate. In a somewhat similar situation, this Court in State represented by Inspector of Police and Ors. Vs. N.M.T. Joy Immaculate deprecated passing of disparaging and strong remarks by the High Court against the Investigating Officer and about the investigation done by them. Accordingly, we have no hesitation in expunging the observations made in paragraphs 4 to 6 of the impugned judgment against the concerned police officials in the facts of the present case. [ Read the full judgment]