Nope. They just won't! No FIR filed against a DSP despite court orders, contempt proceedings
On 10 July, two days after Kashmir tipped into turmoil following the killing of the militant commander Burhan Wani, police shot dead 24-year-old Shabir Ahmad Mir during the protests at Tengpora area of Srinagar. His was the 21st death in just two days.
Shabir's father Abdur Rahman Mir moved an application before of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar.
According to the application, a police party, led by DSP Yasir Qadri, forcefully entered their house and started smashing window panes and doors.
On seeing this, Abdur Rahman Mir's wife tried to stop the police official, but he got infuriated, slapped and assaulted her.
The official also hurled expletives at the woman and since Shabir was present on the spot, he could not bear it and tried to rescue his mother.
"On this, the police official started beating up Shabir. Not satisfied with just the beating, the police official opened his pistol and fired two shots at Abdur's son from a point-blank range. Shabir died on the spot," the affidavit alleged.
The incident, according to the application, took place at 6.45 pm when "the family was watching TV in the living room of their house".
Taking cognisance of the application, on 18 July, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, Masarat Shaheen directed the SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar to lodge an FIR against DSP Qadri.
The court observed - "The applicant (father of the slain youth) has given an affidavit and as per the facts of the application, the concerned DSP has acted beyond the powers which reveals that there is a case of cognizable offences. Hence in the light of the application and affidavit sworn by the applicant, the SSP, Srinagar, is directed to lodge an FIR against the official and investigate the matter."
Police registered no FIR against the DSP but filed one against the deceased youth instead.
Allegations, counter allegations
In the subsequent hearing on 28 July, the prosecution defended the DSP and told the court that the police had already lodged an FIR in which the deceased youth had been named as accused.
The police said that the slain youth was leading a procession on the day he was killed.
The court, however, rejected the police argument and issued fresh directions calling on the SSP of Srinagar, Amit Kumar, to lodge the second FIR against the DSP within 24 hours.
But the police still didn't. On the contrary, the state's law department filed an appeal in the high court against the Chief Judicial Magistrate's (CJM) order.
This move surprised senior PDP leader and the former J&K Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh.
"In the present case, the crime was allegedly committed by a police officer. The aggrieved family had no recourse but to file a complaint before the Chief Judicial Magistrate who, after prima facie after satisfying his queries, directed that an FIR be registered against the police officer," Beigh, who is a Member of Parliament, said.
"The reported decision of the law department to go approach the high court against this order passed by the CJM, Srinagar, within his jurisdiction will undermine the credibility of the government, including that of the chief minister".
Beigh also appealed to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to intervene in the matter urgently "in the interest of justice and the credibility of her own position."
But this changed little on the ground. No FIR was registered.
Coming down harder
On 30 July hearing, the court took serious notice of the violation of its orders and issued a non-bailable warrant against the SSP Srinagar to be executed through DIG Central Kashmir.
The court also rejected the application on behalf of the SSP which had sought exemption from personal appearance.
The CJM Shaheen further directed the Chief Prosecuting Officer, who was present in the court, to forward the non-bailable warrant to DIG Central Kashmir and file a compliance report within two days.
According to the order, the SSP Srinagar was further directed to show cause as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for not obeying the court directions, whereby he was directed to lodge FIR and file a copy of the FIR within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, on 1 August, J&K High Court dismissed the law department's plea and endorsed the CJM's orders on the FIR against the accused DSP.
SSP Kumar was duly produced before the court under custody of the DIG, Central Kashmir as per the direction of the court, but was granted bail as the warrant had been "executed".
The court, however, reiterated its earlier order of filing an FIR against the DSP within 24 hours.
"In case, SSP Srinagar fails to comply with the orders of the court, then the rule will be framed against him and same will be referred to Hon'ble High Court for punishing the SSP Srinagar under law," the order read.
Again, no FIR was filed.
On 6 August hearing, the court issued another non-bailable warrant against SSP Kumar, this time, to be executed through the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zone.
The CJM also directed IG to appear personally to clarify the position of the police in the Tengpora killing.
The court observed, "Despite the orders of this court having attained finality due to the seal of the high court.... neither FIR has been lodged nor (its) copy furnished to this court. It is very unfortunate that the protectors of law have themselves become law violators and have willfully disobeyed the orders of the court".
Edited by Jhinuk Sen