SC expresses displeasure at Bihar Police for expecting an accused to prove innocence during interrogation says “Such an approach cannot be countenanced”

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In a recent Supreme Court (SC) hearing, a two-judge bench consisting of Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan expressed displeasure at the Bihar Police for expecting an accused to prove his innocence in a criminal case during interrogation. The SC said “It is obvious that the Police need the custody of the appellant-Md. Tauhid@ Kallu (accused), not for interrogation but for some other reason…the approach of the Police reflected from paragraph 9 of the counter affidavit, to say the least, is shocking. The Police Officer seems to be under the impression that the accused has to appear before him and prove his innocence. Such an approach cannot be countenanced.” The bench was hearing an appeal against the order of the Patna High Court refusing to grant anticipatory bail to the accused. 

Further, the Court on December 06, issued notice on the appeal granting interim protection to the appellant from arrest. Later on, the Bihar police submitted a counter-affidavit which stated that the accused “on interrogation pleaded himself innocent but did not produce any material in support of his claim”. The bench was not satisfied with the counter-affidavit of the Bihar Police and proceeded to allow the anticipatory bail plea by the accused. During the proceedings, Senior Advocate Syed Jafar Hussain along with Advocate Praveen Swarup, Advocate Ameet Singh, Advocate KP Singh, Advocate Archana Sharma, Advocate Ravi Kumar, and Advocate Devesh Maurya appeared for the accused and Advocate Manish Kumar and Advocate Ravi Shanker Jha appeared for the Bihar Police. 

The SC order reads, “The interim order dated 6th December 2023 is made absolute on the same terms and conditions. The Appeal is, accordingly, allowed.”