The Gauhati High Court on November 18 slammed the Assam Police for bulldozing houses that belonged to five families allegedly involved in the arson of Batadrava Police Station.
The court also noted that the authorities didn't follow procedures and they cannot bulldoze houses without permission.
Hearing a suo motu case on the demolition of the house of a person accused in the arson of Batadrava Police Station, a division bench led by Chief Justice RM Chhaya pulled up the Superintendent of Police (SP) and asked, ''Show me from any criminal jurisprudence that for investigating a crime, the police without following the legal procedure and order can bulldoze a house''.
''You may be the SP of any district. Even IG, DIG, or whoever may have the highest authority has to pass through a gamut of laws. Just because they head the police department they cannot wreck anybody's house. Nobody is safe in this country then, if this is permitted,'' the bench further added.
''Procedure has to be followed. Which law permits us to do this? Without prior permission of the court, you can't even have a search of somebody's house,'' the Chief Justice said.
Expressing its anguish over the bulldozing of the houses, the bench further said, ''Tomorrow if someone enters this courtroom forcefully, will you take that person out or will you start digging and uproot the chair on which he is sitting? This method is unheard of Mr. counsel".
On May 21 this year, Batadrava police station in Nagaon district was torched by a mob after the alleged custodial death of a local fish trader named Safikul Islam.
A day after this incident, the district authorities destroyed five houses including the house of Islam with the help of a bulldozer.
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