Coming down heavily on Bihar police for demolishing the house of a woman without following the due process of law, the Patna High Court on Saturday summoned the senior-most officials of state police on the next date of hearing.
After the petitioner alleged that the illegal demolition was carried out at the behest of some land mafia, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Sandeep Kumar said, ‘Is the bulldozer being run here too?’
The Bench then asked the Police, ‘Whom do you represent, the state or some private person? You are creating a scene by demolishing anyone’s house with a bulldozer.’
After perusing the counter affidavit of the Station House Officer in the matter, the High Court noted that all the officials were hand-in-glove with some land mafia.
‘After identifying the land disputes, has the police station been given the power of execution? If one has a problem then he can to the police station, give money and get someone’s house demolished…close the civil court then),’ the bench remarked orally, after noting that the house in question was demolished, superseding the powers of the court.
When the Counsel informed the High Court that a false case had been registered against the petitioner and her family members so as to pressurise them to vacate the land at the instance of the land mafia, Justice Kumar assured her that he was there to protect the petitioner and not to trouble her.
The Bench told the petitioner, ‘I will get you compensation of Rs five lakh each from the personal pocket of these policemen for house demolition.’
Talking to the Counsel representing the State of Bihar, the Bench said, ‘Now Police and CO are getting the houses demolished by taking bribe. Police should stop this practice of acting as agents of Patna land mafia in illegal land grabbing.’
The High Court directed the S.H.O. of Agamkuan Police Station to submit the criminal antecedents of respondents no. 8 to 12, who were alleged to be land mafia by the petitioner.
It also stayed the FIR and restrained the police from arresting the petitioner and her family members in the case.
The High Court also issued notice to Respondents no 8 to 12, directing them to appear before it through their Counsels on the next date of hearing, which is December 8.
The High Court further summoned the Superintendent of Police, Patna East; the Circle Officer, Patna City, and the Officer-in-Charge, Agamkuan Police Station, to remain present on the next date of hearing.