“Several stereotype applications for condoning the delay are filed by the investigating officers assigning similar reasons of being deployed on bandobast duties and other duties,” stated Judicial Magistrate First Class, Ponda, Audi Shanoor.
“I find that police officers have to discharge their duties with utmost diligence and such casual and cavalier approach cannot be entertained,” the court added.
In the latest case, the offence of rash driving took place on April 23, 2019, and the PI filed an application seeking condonation in delay in filing the chargesheet, stating that the head constable who is now a PSI was deployed for bandobast duty and Covid-19 duty.
The delay, if calculated, is for over one year, the court found. “Perusal of the chargesheet shows that the investigation was completed in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic started in March 2020 and the investigating officer had sufficient time to file the chargesheet but he has failed to do so,” the court stated.
The investigating officer has not sufficiently explained the delay of such a long period and stated that the application has been filed “in an utmost casual and cavalier manner without assigning any proper justification for the delay caused and without mentioning the exact number of days of delay caused in filing the chargesheet”, the court stated.
It also pointed out that the officer failed to remain present, “which shows his lack of diligence to proceed with the matter”.
The investigating officer lodged an FIR against a 22-year-old barber who lost three fingers in an accident case.
The court found that sufficient cause was not shown by the investigating officer to condone the delay in filing the chargesheet.
As per Section 468 of the CrPC, the chargesheet had to be filed within a year of the offence and in the present case it had to be filed by April 22, 2020, but the application before the court seeking condonation in delay was dated December 13, 2021.
Rash driving under Section 279 of IPC provides for simple imprisonment for a term extending up to six months or a fine which may extend to Rs 1,000, or both.
The court dismissed the police application.