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HC outraged over illegal arrest, remand of billiards player

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Press Trust of India Chennai
Slamming the illegal arrest and mechanical remand of a state-level billiards player who is also an engineering student, the Madras High Court has granted him bail.
The court also warned of action against the police and magistrates if the law and Supreme Court guidelines governing arrest and remand were violated.
Granting bail to the student, in a case of theft of red sanders logs, Justice Anand Venkatesh said it was really unfortunate that the magistrate mechanically remanded him to judicial custody.
"An illegal arrest is the worst form of violation of the liberty of a person," the Judge said.
The police arrest memo showed as if all the four accused persons were arrested at the scene of occurrence in Chennai contrary to records, the Judge noted.
"The respondent (police) did not even bother to prima facie satisfy himself as to whether this petitioner had anything to do with the alleged offence," the Judge said.
Also, the requirements of the Forest Act were not satisfied, he added.
According to the prosecution, the police had on February 22 intercepted a vehicle with nine red sanders logs and brought it to the police station along with the accused.
According to the petitioner, he was waiting on his two-wheeler for his billiards coach to complete a mobile phone conversation when the police took them to the Muthialpet Police Station.
The petitioner said in his statement that he was not aware as to why he was taken away by the police and handed over to the Forest Range Officer.
The FRO then produced him before the V Metropolitan Magistrate (in-charge), Egmore here, and he was remanded to judicial custody.
"This is yet another case which brings to focus the sordid state-of-affairs prevailing in this State with regard to arrest and remand of accused persons," the judge said.
Noting that the High Court had already given a very long rope and attempted to sensitise and educate police and magistrates on arrest and remand, the Judge said, "it is now time for action."

"This case must send clear indications to the police as well as the judicial magistrates that this court will not hesitate to give directions to take disciplinary action against police for illegal arrest and against magistrates for mechanical remand, in violation of law and the guidelines given by the Supreme Court and this court."

The student who landed in jail must be wondering the reason for his arrest and it will leave a very deep impact on his mind throughout his life and he will carry the stigma attached to arrest.
Also, his family will be deeply shocked, the judge said granting bail with certain conditions.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 9:11 PM IST

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