JAMMU: Division Bench took a serious note over the low conviction in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) cases while treating a Criminal Acquittal Appeal as PIL.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice M.M Kumar and Justice Tashi Rabstan of State High Court after hearing Advocate Ankesh Chandel for the PIL whereas Senior AAG Gagan Basotra for the State, observed that the minutes of the meeting held under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department on 25th August, 2014 have been placed on record with the application filed by the Principal Secretary, Home seeking exemption from the personal appearance.
According to the minutes, a comprehensive affidavit by IGP Crime has been submitted and on the suggestions made by Amicus, PHQ constituted a committee of officers under the Chairmanship of IGP Crime to examine the issue as reflected in the judgment dated 14th February 2013 of the Supreme Court rendered in the case of Thana Singh v. State of Punjab, as many as eleven directions were passed by this Court and after threadbare discussions of various issues the committee of the officers took the following five decision that the Director General of Police, J and K will examine the report of the committee of officers along with the SOPs prepared by them as also the suggestions relating to speedy trial in NDPS cases and submit a report alongwith his recommendations to the Home Department for adoption.
The Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs will intimate the Home Department about the latest status of establishment of Special courts for NDPS cases.
Besides, the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs shall furnish reports regarding the steps taken for implementation of directions. DGP, J and K and Director, FSL will comply with the directions at and furnish their reports in this behalf to the Home Department. PHQ will take necessary steps in so far as implementation of directions in judgment. Besides, monitoring of these cases, PHQ will ensure deputing one Pairvi officer in each NDPS court. Police Headquarter will submit a proposal to the Home Department for further reference to the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for designating CPOs as Special Public Prosecutors in NDPS cases subject to provisions of NDPS Act.
After going through the decision taken by the committee, Division Bench directed DGP, Dept of law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs and the PHQ shall file the status report to the five decisions.
Division Bench also wish to make it clear that the sanction for creating four Courts exclusively for hearing of NDPS cases have to be accorded and the Finance Department and all other departments shall expedite the same as directions issued by the Supreme Court in Thana Singh’s case have to be complied with and further observed that this Court is conscious of the fact that on account of flood situation created in the State there may be some delay, but effective steps still have to be taken for establishing four Sessions Court to deal with NDPS cases and the re-designation of two Sessions Courts should be avoided as far as possible because the officers are already overburden with trial work. JNF