The Punjab and Haryana High Court in one of its recent orders has directed the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) not to depute police officials especially those who are overweight and unable to run.
The decision came during an anticipatory bail hearing, wherein the HC made some pertinent observations on the rise in instances of accused to be fleeing the clutches of the police, despite four to five officers being present on the scene.
The bench headed by Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan further stated that the majority of these cases pertained to alcohol and narcotics raids, conducted on the basis of secret information. The mostly middle-aged accused often fled from the police party by scaling walls or by jumping from the roof of the building raided, Justice Sangwan observed.
“The Additional Director General of Police, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab is further directed not to depute such police officials especially those who are overweight and unable to run,” stated the court. Further, the bench also asserted that all the officers who have failed to nab the accused will have to undergo physical fitness tests supervised by a team of doctors at Police Training Academies in the state.
“Such police officers could later be sent for a three-month physical training session, or in the alternative, be replaced by younger, fitter officers during Excise Act raids,” Justice Sangwan observed.
The Court came to consider the matter of accused escaping police raids after the petitioner, one Malkit Singh, cast doubts on the prosecution’s story that he was seen fleeing the scene of a police raid.
Singh was booked under Section 15 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act after he was chased by a head constable during a raid. The police constable failed to nab him, but claimed he knew Singh ‘previously’. The petitioner submitted that the constable’s claim was doubtful since he had no criminal antecedents.