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Police-Judiciary loggerhead
Staff Reporter Dimapur, May 10(NPN):
Published on 11 May. 2009 12:30 AM IST
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Both the police and judiciary being at loggerheads is not news and their conflicts ironically only provided the widest space for offenders to be released without much difficulty and resulting in delay of the cases. Reacting to allegations that the judiciary was not applying its mind on crimes of serious nature as a consequence of which charges framed by police have more often than not, being dismissed, Public Prosecutor Y.T.Sangtam described it as “false and baseless”. Sangtam asserted that by and large, most charge sheets of police on facts and evidence were not tenable in the court to buttress the cases against accused persons for their crimes. Asked about 1000 pending cases in 2008 and 271 in 2009 and delay in trials , Sangtam said that most of the pending cases was due to delay in filing chargesheet by the investigating officers of the case or, as in most cases, lack of cooperation from witness and the evidences and for which the cases drag on for months. Asked why courts grant bail to accused persons without taking into account the gravity of their crimes which often led to bailed offenders committing further crimes,Sangtam said when facts and evidence were not strong to buttress police charges, courts have no option but to follow the principle of providing the accused the benefit of bail. Clarifying this point, he said after an accused has been forwarded to judicial custody, the court gives time to the police to file chargesheet within a stipulated period. In the event the police fail to file chargesheet with enough facts and backed with evidence, then the court would have to consider application for bail by the counsel for the accused. On the issue of rapists charged under section 376 IPC which is a non bailable offence, but where there were instances when accused persons were granted bail by the court, Sangtam said he would not like to comment on it. On Showuba rape case examination of witness and evidence, which was conducted April 30, Sangtam said since the accused persons involved in the crime have denied the charges against them, the court had to resort back to the evidence and facts provided by the investigating agencies. The next examination of witness and evidence was likely to be held sometime during the next month, Sangtam added. It may also be recalled that Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L.Imchen had recently admitted that police were weak in legal asepct while filing charge shhets. He opined that this was due to the fact that most police officers being promotees from the ranks, were not so well versed with the legal aspects while preparing charge sheets as Investigating Officers. The Home Minster however felt the courts should have been more considerate in the light of serious crimes facing a road block due to technicalities. Sangtam urged the public to be inquisitive about the conviction aspects instead of focusing only on the issue of bail for rapists. He said the allegations of corruption of certain court officials in making bail a business, was unfounded. He however added that private legal practitioners were well within their rights to charge fees for legal services rendered to clients as they were not employed by any agency. Dimapur court has one Public Prosecutor, three Additional Public prosecutors, two Chief Judicial Magistrates and one Junior Civil Judge in the prosecution part – manning the procedures of the court.

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