While some lawyers say that the arrest was "illegal", others claim that there was wrongdoing by the police.

Did the Kerala police flout norms by arresting Pulsar Suni from court Lawyers weigh in
news Malayalam actor abduction Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 16:05

High drama prevailed at the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Ernakulam on Thursday afternoon, as the police took into custody Pulsar Suni – the prime accused in the abduction and alleged rape of a popular Malayalam actor.

Sunil Kumar alias Pulsar Suni and another accused, Vijeesh, had reportedly arrived at the court to surrender before the Magistrate, and the police forcibly took them away before they could do so.

This action of the police, of arresting the two individuals just before they could surrender themselves, has been criticised in certain quarters. While a number of media reports have raised questions regarding the legality of the police action, some lawyers too have joined the chorus. Lashing out at the police action, senior criminal lawyer Ram Kumar told The News Minute that the police had deliberately done so, to protect influential people involved in the crime.

“From the very beginning of the investigation, the police have been trying to shield influential people who are involved in the crime. It is clear as daylight. If Suni and Vijeesh names any actor or politician in their statement to the magistrate, the police cannot use third degree methods to manipulate their statements and thereby save the real culprits. What the police did today is to show that they have complete disregard for the SC guidelines (on arrest). It is completely against the law," Ram Kumar said. 

Criticizing the police for using force inside the court, advocate Ram Kumar said:

"According to the law, the police have no right to take an accused into custody while he is going to surrender before a Magistrate. The accused has every right to give his statement to the Magistrate and the police should legally seek the accused's custody. What the police did today was a planned action to prevent the accused from giving their original statements to the magistrate.”

However, many others in the legal fraternity do not find this line of argument persuasive. Several lawyers TNM spoke to, said that the police have not flouted any norms by taking Suni and Vijeesh into custody.

A senior lawyer, on condition of anonymity, told TNM that a court ceases to be a court in the absence of the magistrate. 

"By definition, a court is where the magistrate is. In his absence, it is just a room. In this case, the magistrate was away when the accused reached the court to surrender. The police have done nothing wrong in taking them into custody from there."

Advocate EC Poulose, who is representing Suni and Vijeesh also told The News Minute that the police have not flouted any norm by taking the two accused into custody. 

"As far as I know, Suni and Vijeesh were not able to surrender before the magistrate, as they reached the court during lunch time. As long as they haven't surrendered, the police have the right to take them into custody," Poulose said. 

Considering the sensitivity of the case, Poulose feels that the police would not try to do anything illegal, and will produce the two accused before the Angamaly Judicial Magistrate court soon.

"This is a highly sensational case and the public has already seen the police use force to take the two away. I do not feel that they would take further risks with regard to this and seek their custody after producing them before the Angamaly court today itself," Poulose added. 

Senior criminal lawyer Udayabhanu was also of the opinion that there is nothing wrong in the police taking the accused away from the court. 

Speaking to TNM, he said: "First of all, the police haven't arrested them, but have merely taken them into custody. Also, there is no official record to prove that the accused’s intention was to surrender. What if they reached there to verify some documents pertaining to the case? We cannot be certain about it. So, there's nothing illegal in the police taking them into custody, as it is a non-bailable offence," Advocate Udayabhanu said. 


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