Prior approval of senior cop must for FIR in TADA cases: SC

An ULFA rebel facing life term for killing two policemen was on Tuesday set free by the Supreme Court as the FIR was not registered under proper rules.

Updated: May 24, 2011, 23:46 PM IST

New Delhi: An ULFA rebel facing life term
for killing two policemen was on Tuesday set free by the Supreme
Court as the FIR was not registered under proper rules.
A bench of justices Asok Kumar Ganguly and Deepak
Verma in a judgement said that prior approval either in
writing or oral has to be obtained from the officer of a rank
of SP before the FIR is registered, failing which the
proceedings would become illegal. This is mandated under the
TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act),
1987.

"Therefore, the entire proceeding right from the
registering of the FIR, filing of the charge sheet and the
subsequent trial is vitiated by a legal infirmity and there is
a total miscarriage of justice in holding the trial, ignoring
the vital requirement of law.

"We have, therefore, no hesitation in setting aside
the impugned judgement of the designated court," the bench
said acquitting Rangku Dutta alias Ranjan Kumar Dutta of the
charges.

Dutta had moved the apex court challenging the
September 10, 2009, judgement of the designated TADA court
which sentenced him to life imprisonment for killing SI A Q M
Zahingir and PSO Loknath Konwar on November 6, 1993, in
Assam`s North Lakhimpur district.
The FIR in this case was registered by sub-inspector
Ajit Kumar at Bihpuria Police Station.

However, Dutta through his counsel challenged the
conviction on the ground that the FIR has been recorded in
clear violation of the amended provisions contained under
Section 20(A)(1)of the Act which required prior approval from
an officer of the rank of SP.

The said amendment had come into effect from May 23,
1993 and the FIR was recorded on November 6, 1993.

The apex court said there was substantive evidence to
show that SI Kumar had not obtained the approval of the SP
before registering the case. The court further said even if
the FIR is subsequently endorsed by a senior officer, it would
not become valid.

PTI