Amanatullah Khan vs Commissioner of Police 2024 INSC 383 – History Sheet

Summary: Some disturbing contents of the History Sheet to the extent it pertained to the school going minor children of the appellant and his wife, against whom there was apparently no adverse material whatsoever for inclusion in the History Sheet – Amended Standing Order -The decision taken to the effect that History Sheet is only an internal police document and it shall not be brought in public domain, largely addresses the concern expressed by us in the beginning. Secondly, the extra care and precaution, to be now observed by a police officer while ensuring that the identity of a minor child is not disclosed as per the law too, is a necessary step to redress the appellant’s grievances. It will surely prevent the undesirable exposure that has been given to the minor children in this case.

History Sheet – States and Union Territories may also consider the desirability of ensuring that no mechanical entries in History Sheet are made of innocent individuals, simply because they happen to hail from the socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, along with those belonging to Backward Communities, Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes. While we are not sure about the degree of their authenticity, but there are some studies available in the public domain that reveal a pattern of an unfair, prejudicial and atrocious mindset. It is alleged that the Police Diaries are maintained selectively of individuals belonging to Vimukta Jatis, based solely on caste-bias, a somewhat similar manner as happened in colonial times. All the State Governments are therefore expected to take necessary preventive measures to safeguard such communities from being subjected to inexcusable targeting or prejudicial treatment. We must bear in mind that these pre-conceived notions often render them ‘invisible victims’ due to prevailing stereotypes associated with their communities, which may often impede their right to live a life with self-respect. (Para 14)

Constitution of India, 1950; Article 21 – The value for human dignity and life is deeply embedded in Article 21 of our Constitution. The expression ‘life’ unequivocally includes the right to live a life worthy of human honour and all that goes along with it. Self-regard, social image and an honest space for oneself in one’s surrounding society, are just as significant to a dignified life as are adequate food, clothing and shelter. (Para 15)

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