The Gauhati High Court has emphasized that even if an agency is investigating a very serious matter, there is no provision in any criminal law to run a bulldozer on someone’s house. Chief Justice RM Chhaya made the remarks during a hearing regarding the demolition of the house of an accused in an arson incident in Assam’s Nagaon district. He said, ‘We live in a democratic system. Incidents of bulldozers running on houses like this happen in films and in those too, search warrants are shown before that.
In fact, a mob had set the Batadrava police station on fire on May 21 following the alleged custodial death of local fish trader Safikul Islam. The police had taken Islam away the night before. A day later, district authorities demolished houses of at least six people, including Islam, to search for weapons and narcotics allegedly hidden under them, using bulldozers. The Court said that permission is also required to search someone’s house. He said, ‘Tomorrow if you need anything, you can dig up my courtroom itself.’ The Chief Justice said that if permission is given to demolish someone’s house in the name of investigation, then no one will be safe. The next hearing on the matter will be on December 12.
Justice Chhaya said that such incidents of bulldozing on houses happen in films and in those too, search warrants are shown before that. The next hearing on the matter will be on December 12.
then you will ditch the courtroom too
Pointing to the report, Justice Chhaya said that he could be an SP. But even your higher-ups need to go through the cracks of the law. Just because he’s the head of the police department, he can’t break into someone’s house. No one is safe in this country if such actions are allowed.
The bench sought to know whether any prior permission was sought for the action, to which the counsel for the state replied that it was for house searches. Justice Chhaya expressed surprise and said this (action) is unheard of, at least in my career so far. I have not seen a police officer driving a bulldozer as a search warrant.
“Even if a very serious matter is being investigated by an agency, there is no provision under any criminal law to bulldoze a house,” Justice Chhaya said. Emphasizing that permission is required to search even a house, Justice Chhaya said that tomorrow if you need anything, you will dig my courtroom as well. The Chief Justice said that no one would be safe if permission was given to demolish someone’s house in the name of investigation.