Supreme Court Denies Bail to Police Officer Accused of Tampering with Investigation

The Supreme Court has denied bail to a police officer accused of interfering with an investigation, emphasizing that granting bail would send the wrong message to society and not be in the public interest. The officer’s primary duty is to conduct an impartial investigation and ensure justice is served, but the court noted a failure in fulfilling this fundamental responsibility. The decision came from a bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Sanjay Kumar in a case from Jharkhand.

In Jharkhand, the High Court had previously granted anticipatory bail to Dhanwar Police Station in-charge Sandeep Kumar on July 6, 2022. Kumar was accused of manipulating an FIR filed against another officer, Ranjit Kumar Saw, for fraud, in an attempt to protect Saw. Despite being suspended, there were concerns that Kumar could still influence the investigation and witnesses.

The Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s decision, stating that granting relief to an investigating officer accused of such serious charges would undermine public trust in the police force. The court highlighted the importance of maintaining the integrity of an FIR and noted that it could not be determined at this stage who was responsible for the changes made to the FIR. However, it was the investigating officer’s duty to preserve the sanctity of the FIR.

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The trial court had relied on CCTV footage from Dhanwar Police Station, which showed the actual culprit, Ranjit Kumar Saw, son of Lakhan Saw, visiting the station and meeting with the accused officer multiple times. The footage also showed a switch in custody, leading to the arrest of another individual named Ranjit, son of Balgovind, further complicating the case.

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