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Ali Ahammed Vs. State of Kerala - (High Court of Kerala) (27 Nov 2020)

Investigation and arrest under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 has to be conducted by Special Police Officer authorized in that behalf

MANU/KE/3247/2020

Criminal

Petition has been filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) to quash all further proceedings against the Petitioner/first accused in Complaint Case pending on the files of the Judicial First Class Magistrate.

Prosecution case is that, on 11th December, 2003, the Circle Inspector of Police, conducted a search in the lodge run by the Petitioner and found that, the accused No. 2 to 7 were inside the lodge rooms engaged in prostitution for money. Accused No. 2 to 7 were arrested and the case was registered. Thereafter, Circle Inspector, Pandikkad conducted the investigation, questioned the witnesses and filed charge under Sections 3, 4, 5 and 7 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.

According to the Petitioner, under the provisions of the Act, arrest and investigation has to be conducted by a Special Police Officer as provided under Section 2(i) and 13 of the Act. It is also his contention that, there is no provision under Section 14(ii) of the Act to empower the special police officer to authorise investigation of the case to be conducted by any other officer.

In case of Joseph v. State of Kerala, it has been held that, authorisation given by the Special Police Officer to his subordinate officer must mention the name of any of the persons to be arrested. It is also held that, Special Police Officer cannot authorise investigation of the case to be conducted by any other officer.

As per G.O.(Ms) No. 56/2002/Home dated Thiruvananthapuram, 24th April, 2002 (S.R.O. No. 344/2002), the Government of Kerala appointed Circle Inspector of Police attached to the police stations in the State as Special Police Officers for dealing with offences under the Act within their respective area of jurisdiction. As far as Malappuram district is concerned, the Perinthalmanna and Pandikkad have been given under the separate jurisdictional limits and that would in turn indicate that Circle Inspector of Police, Perinthalmanna would be Special Police Officer within the jurisdiction of Perinthalmanna circle and the Circle Inspector of Police, Pandikkad would be the Special Police Officer within the Pandikkad circle. In other words, Circle Inspector of Police, Pandikkad will not be the Special Police Officer with respect to a crime committed within the jurisdictional limits of Perinthalmanna circle.

In view of the settled position of law, the final report filed by the Inspector of Police, Pandikkad who is not the Special Police Officer empowered under Section 13 of the Act is not in compliance with the provisions of the Act and hence, is not sustainable in law. The proceedings against the Petitioner are hereby quashed.

Tags : JURISDICTION   PROCEEDINGS   QUASHING OF  

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