Sunday, 2 October, 2022

Distortion of facts

Distortion of facts

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The way of action of an investigation officer in a criminal case plays a determining role in deciding the outcome of the trial process because a court delivers judgement based primarily on reports submitted by the IO, material evidence relating to incidents and deposition of the witnesses. It is the duty of the IO to bring out the facts about a crime incident and place them before the court undistorted and undiluted. Distortion or twisting of facts by the investigation agency or officers leads to unnecessary harassment of the litigants, deprivation of the plaintiff of legal protection and creates scope for the offenders to escape punishment. None of these is expected in a civilised society where rule of law is supposed to prevail.

However, much to our utter frustration, the lead story in yesterday’s issue of this daily narrates how the investigation officer of a case filed over alleged killing of a woman by her son-in-law in Shariatpur last May turns a murder into an accidental death and drops the names of the accused in the FIR. And obviously with the unholy motive of saving the accused, he pressed charge against an auto driver. He did all such distortion of facts ignoring the death certificate and autopsy report. It is also alleged that the police officer twisted the statement of at least 10 of the witnesses.

If such is the reality, the outcome of the legal process is everybody’s guess: plaintiff will be deprived of true judgement and offenders will escape due punishment. What is even more harmful is that it will lead to further isolation of the law enforcement agencies from the masses and erosion of public confidence in the country’s judiciary system.

So, to prevent such distortion of facts, there should be arrangements – legal or administrative – for counterchecking the facts reported by investigation officers. And, in case IO’s are found guilty of twisting facts, they should be punished to discourage others from resorting to similar unfair means. The stake is nothing less than people rights to legal protection and public faith in the legal process.