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HC pulls Govt over ‘unscientific’ handling of criminal cases

Asks State to create 200 posts of Investigating Sub-Inspectors

Srinagar, Dec 29: High Court has pulled police for its ‘unscientific’ procedures adopted during investing various criminal cases, directing the Director General of Police (DGP) to create 200 special posts of investigating sub- inspectors to deal with criminal cases scientifically.

A single bench of Justice Hasnain Masoodi asked the DGP to move a proposal for creation of at least 200 posts of Investigating Sub-Inspectors in the grade otherwise available to the cadre, with Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Biology and Chemistry) and Three years Degree in Law as eligibility qualification.

Court granted two weeks time to move proposal in this regard. “Once the proposal is moved, let it be considered without allowing it to fall a prey to procedural wrangles and approved within two weeks thereafter,” the bench directed the state.

Court asked the government to start recruitment process within four weeks after creation/sanction of the posts.

“The selectees on their appointments as Investigating Sub-Inspectors, shall be posted at least one in each of the police stations of the State and two or more in the police stations of Srinagar and Jammu cities and police station of major towns/district headquarters of the State,” bench ordered.

Court said the department must organize comprehensive training program in forensic tools to be used in investigation, in addition to the routine training.

The directions were passed while hearing a case wherein family members of a rape victim approached High court against acquittal of the accused by Trial court, Ganderbal.

During the trial of the case, the rape victim allegedly committed suicide and the accused was ultimately acquitted for the reason that victim (Prime Witness) was not available for cross examination.

On this court said whatever might be the reason for her death, the question would be whether the case of the prosecution should be thrown overboard because of the non-availability of the victim for examination on account of her death or whether the Court can record a conviction for any offence that is made out on the available evidence let in by the prosecution.

Court said the investigating officer could have with least difficulty, with the assistance of the doctor, who treated the victim at local hospital or attended her at Lal Ded Hospital, obtained sample/tissue from the foetus for DNA profiling/matching with the sample taken from the respondent.

“Such a course would have helped the Investigating Officer to produce more convincing evidence before the trial court regarding the result of investigation and also the trial court to arrive at just conclusion,” the bench observed.

Justice Masoodi said the investigating officer has very conveniently ignored this aspect of the case, possibly because the investigating officer, had either no idea about the technique available or did not have will to use the technique and instead proceeded with the investigation in a lifeless and routine manner.

Justice said What is true about the present case is equally true about the more than 90% of the criminal cases that end in acquittal of the accused because of faulty investigation or casual and half-hearted prosecution.

The bench further observed that the failure to use and integrate modern techniques with the investigation, results in wastage of precious time resources, at all levels – be it investigation or trial and proceedings emanating there from. “The failure also compounds agony of an innocent person dragged to the Trial Court on false charges and at times made to face incarceration, finally acquitted by Trial Court or the Appellate Court as the case may be,” bench observed.

Court allowed the Criminal Revision Petition of the victim family set aside the acquittal order of the trial court and called for a fresh trial.

Bench said the trial Judge shall summon the then Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ganderbal as a witness and record his statement in accordance with law.

“Trial Judge shall thereafter put all incriminatory material come across in prosecution evidence including statement of the then CJM and shall conclude trial and render judgment having regard to the evidence brought on record,” bench added.

Court also ordered arrest of the accused as it cancelled the bail bonds of the accused. “Bench asked accused to surrender before the trial Court and asked police to ensure their presence in court if the accused failed to surrender.

Court also asked SHO Ganderbal to further investigate the death of victim in Lal Ded Hospital on 14th November, 2012 to find out whether the death was a direct result of alleged occurrence and whether respondent was to be held to have triggered death or otherwise responsible for such death and offence prima facie made out against accused.