Police deserve respect and appreciation: Calcutta HC refuses to quash case against 4 students accused of assaulting policeman

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The judge observed, "Everyone loves acknowledgement and appreciation, the Police are no different".

The Calcutta High Court recently dismissed a plea moved by four students accused of abusing, assaulting, and obstructing a policeman who was trying to stop them from bursting firecrackers on the rooftop of police quarters.

While denying relief to the accused students, the bench of Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul) made comments on the hostile attitude of society in general towards the policemen.

The judge said, "They (policemen) put themselves in dangerous situations that could end with them being hurt or even killed—all in the name of public safety. That’s not a job that many people would be willing to do."

The judge added, "Officers take a lot of abuse from people who don’t know them and simply don’t like the police. Showing a little respect will go a long way".

Further, stressing the significance of acknowledgment and appreciation, the Judge remarked, "It’s easy to forget all the hard work and sacrifices police officers make on a daily basis....Their work deserves appreciation and acknowledgment so that they are inspired to do more service effectively".

Regarding the case at hand, Court noted that the concerned policeman was trying to stop the accused students from bursting firecrackers not only for the wellbeing of residents of the building but also to prevent any accident that could take place causing loss of life and properly to the accused students themselves. 

Therefore, while pointing out that obstructing an officer while on duty is an offence not to be taken lightly, court opined that the material available on the record made out a prima facie case of commission of cognizable offences against the accused students. 

Accordingly, court refused to quash the criminal proceedings against the accused students. 

The present case was lodged in the year 2017 when all the accused persons were students of either school or college. The case was registered on the basis of a written complaint lodged by an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police under Sections 186/353/323/285/286/34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The ASI had alleged that after receiving a complaint on the telephone regarding firecracker bursting on the roof of a Police Quarter building when he reached the spot and tried to stop the nuisance, the accused students became furious and with a hostile attitude, used abusive language and obstructed his public duty. The ASI had also claimed that the accused students assaulted him as well. 

On the contrary, the students' case was that the entire story of the ASI had been concocted only to save the act of atrocities by the police personnel, who assaulted them. 

They had alleged that it was them who had been hurt and had received injuries when 5/6 unknown persons suddenly, came to the rooftop where they were bursting firecrackers to celebrate Kali Puja. 

Case Title: Sri Writuraj Sen & Ors. Vs The State of West Bengal & Anr.