SC fiat to MP on dealing with hardened criminals

Supreme Court has directed the state not to transport "dangerous criminals" in public or private transport.

New Delhi: After 4 dacoits escaped from police custody and committed murders in Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court has directed the state not to transport "dangerous criminals" in public or private transport.
A bench of justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale, while
expressing anguish over the inaction displayed by the state in
taking action against the police personnel responsible for the
criminals` escape, asked the government to construct "single
court room" complexes to try such hardened criminals.

The apex court passed the direction while dealing with
the SLP filed by the state challenging the Madhya Pradesh High
Court`s direction for a CBI inquiry into alleged complicity by
top police officers in the escape of the four dacoits in 2004.

On March 23, 2001, a gang of four criminals--Rambabu
Gadariya, Dayaram, Pratap and Gopal, while returning from
Dabra to Gwalior after attending the court, escaped from
police custody.
These four criminals escaped allegedly with the help
and connivance of certain police officers and murdered 14
persons in village Bhanwarpura.

One Ram Prakash Singh filed a PIL in Madhya Pradesh High
Court alleging harassment and torture of persons from gadariya
(Baghel) caste by the police in their pursuit to nab the

The high court, which had inquired into the alleged
complicity of top police officials on November 8, 2004,
directed a CBI inquiry into the role of police officials
including the then IG and SP of Gwalior.

The apex court had, however, on December 17, 2004,
stayed the CBI probe but appointed a one-man commission of
senior IAS officer Rakesh Bansal who exonerated the top police
officials and made several recommendations to prevent
recurrence of such incidents.

Accepting the recommendations, the apex court asked the
state to "make amendment in the existing rules and ensure that
dangerous prisoners shall not be taken out of jail for journey
by public transport vehicles or private vehicles under any

"Provide in the Jail Manual that whenever any dangerous
or sensitive prisoner is to be transferred from one jail to
another jail for court appearance or on administrative
grounds, the Jail Superintendent should inform the concerned
Superintendent of Police and the District Magistrate by a
written communication as well as by meeting them."

The bench said the escape of four dreaded criminals from
the police custody and the murder of 14 innocent persons by
these criminals after their escape are extremely serious

"In the matter as grave as this, the state government was
expected to act promptly by taking action against the erring
police officials but it failed to act, necessitating drastic
order by the High Court.

"The handling of the matter by the state government and
its functionaries has been far from satisfactory. We would
like the state government to take appropriate action against
the erring official/s without any further delay and also take
all remedial measures to ensure that such things do not happen
in future," the bench said.

Madhya Pradesh counsel Vibha Makhija told the court that
the four out of the five criminals died in police encouters
over a period of time.


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