The apex court posed searching questions relating
to the investigations and materials forming the basis for the
Jammu and Kashmir High Court to order the arrest and asked the
sessions court in Shopian to "expeditiously consider the bail
applications of the police officers".
It directed the investigating officer to be present
there with the case diary on Monday.
Superintendent of Police Javed Iqbal Mattoo and Deputy
SP Rohit Baskotra, who had challenged an order of the Jammu
and Kashmir High Court directing their arrest and conduct of
narco-analysis test and DNA profiling by collecting their
blood samples, were allowed to move the sessions court
"What material were available before the High Court to
direct arrest of the these officers. There should have been
proper investigation," the Bench said when former Chief
Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir and senior advocate B A Khan,
appearing for the victim's family defended the High Court
"Anybody can be arrested. Anybody who has nothing to do
with this case can be arrested. What material was there for
the arrest? Even now, they (state) have been unable to produce
the material," the Bench remarked when Khan said there was
nothing wrong with the High Court order which was delivered
when the whole of Kashmir had to suffer.
The two police officers had also challenged the order
that their bail plea could only be heard by the high
court bench which has passed the order of their arrest.
"We want to maintain the rule of law. We want that the
police officers should make their bail plea before proper
court. It (bail) will be considered by the sessions court,"
a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice
P Sathasivam said.
The submission by the advocates representing the Jammu
and High Court Bar Association on whose petition the High
Court had passed the order that the report submitted in sealed
cover was the basis for the direction to arrest the police
officers did not impress the Bench.
"Everybody in the neighbourhood could be arrested.
Should there not be a proper investigation?" the apex court
bench said and took exception to the monitoring of the case by
the High Court.
"Does the High Court have to monitor criminal cases? How
many cases of rape are monitored by the High Court?" it said
before passing the order in which it extended the stay on the
High Court order directing narco analysis test of the police
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the state
government, conceded there was "over-reaction of the High
Court in this case".
New Delhi: The arrest of senior police officers in connection with the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian was on Friday questioned by the Supreme Court which also criticised Jammu and Kashmir government for failing to produce sufficient evidence to justify its action.
First Published: Friday, July 24, 2009, 18:52