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Mar 27, 2019

Punjab & Haryana High Court bars mentioning of caste in FIRs

File Pic: PTI
Punjab and Haryana High Court has barred the mentioning of caste in the FIRs. The court yesterday directed its judicial officers and the governments of Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, not mention the caste of the accused, victims or witnesses in any of the proceedings before it.

Division Bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Kuldip Singh ruled the mentioning of caste/status separately in the criminal proceedings is a colonial legacy and requires to be stopped forthwith. The bench asserted that the right to dignity was a fundamental and basic human right. The bench added division of society into sections cannot be determined by birth as all are born equal.

The ruling came in a murder case where the Haryana Police mentioned during the course of investigation the caste of the accused, witnesses and the victims.

Justice Sharma directed the Secretaries (Home) to both the governments and Chandigarh administration to issue instructions to all investigating officers against stating or mentioning the caste of the accused, victims or witnesses in the recovery memos, FIRs, seizure memos, inquest papers and other forms prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and Punjab Police Rules. He also directed the High Court Registrar-General  to issue instructions to all judicial officers to follow the directions while dealing with cases.

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