STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: A Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal in a Suo-Moto Public Interest Litigation over delay in investigations in old FIRs and non-production of Challans in the Court of Law issued notices to Home Secretary, Secretary Department of General Administration, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Director General of Police and Director, State Vigilance Bureau, UT of J&K (now Anti Corruption Bureau). While issuing notices, Division Bench directed that Home Secretary, DGP and Director SVB need to answer questions that why investigation in the old FIRs with serious offences has not been completed till date and why the Challans have not been presented in court? It was also sought by the court that the names of Investigating Officer(s) of the cases should be also mentioned in the response. “The court should be also apprised of the present status of investigation, and whether there is any system of monitoring the investigations in the FIRs registered? Whether there are any administrative instructions for taking action against the Investigating Officers, if they don’t complete investigation within the specified time?” DB questioned. DB further directed General Administration to apprise the Court the departmental action taken against the government employees involved in corruption matters and the status thereof. “If no such action was taken, the reason should be placed before court. Whether any of the officer/official was placed under suspension on account of his involvement in a case under PC Act and if yes, for how long? Whether employees involved in cases for serious offences were granted further promotions and other benefits and at that stage whether the factum of registration of FIR against them for serious offences was part of the note put up for consideration? How much of these employees are in service and working at which post and the post on which they were working when the FIR was registered?” DB asked. DB further directed that the court be also apprised of their present place of posting and if any of these employees have retired from service, whether post-retirement dues have been paid to them and for the present information be furnished about the cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act. When the PIL came-up for hearing, Division Bench observed that one of us (Rajesh Bindal), while dealing with different types of cases assigned in the roaster came across the fact that in number of cases employees approach the court, close to their retirement, seeing benefits of their entire service. “Some of them had been under suspension for years together but no charge sheet issued to them or the criminal cases registered against were not taken to logical conclusion. Some of those even were registered with serious offences such as under Prevention of Corruption Act”, DB observed and added, “After this, court had sought information from all the District Courts in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh regarding the FIRs in which no Challan has been presented by the investing agency”. DB observed that the information received is astonishing. While taking note of the same, a note was put up before the Chief Justice to take up this matter on judicial side in public interest. It is how the matter is before this Court, DB observed. While hearing Public Interest Litigation, Division Bench observed that we need to seek response from the concerned authorities on the issue as to why investigating agencies are sleeping over investigation of cases with serious allegations. Division Bench observed that as per information received from the Court of Special Judge, Anti-corruption, Jammu, there are FIRs starting from the year 1998 onwards under the Prevention of Corruption Act, where Challans have not been presented till date. “The allegations are of forgery, bribery, misuse of government money, fictitious withdrawals from treasury, embezzlement of government money, disbursement of loans without proper documents, allotment of works without tendering process, possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income, fabrication of fictitious bills for purchase of transformers, etc. Besides allegations of corruption there are allegations under provisions of penal code also in most of the FIRs. Many of the accused named in the FIRs are government officials. They may be either under suspension or may be getting all benefits despite pendency of criminal cases against them. The number of such FIRs in which Challans have not been presented for different years in Anti-corruption Court at Jammu are 229, out of which nine FIRs of 1998, four of 2000, three of 2001, four of 2002, five of 2003, two of 2005, one of 2006, ten of 2007, two of 2008, five of 2009, eight of 2010, eleven of 2011, 22 of 2012, thirteen of 2013, 18 of 2014, 30 of 2015, 30 of 2016, 20 of 2017 and 29 of 2018 where as information from Srinagar is still awaited”, DB observed adding that besides this, in the details of FIRs registered for offences under Ranbir Penal Code at Jammu only, there are cases pending in which Challans have not been presented for the last about a decade as the oldest one is pertaining to year 2011. Some of the FIRs pertain to offences for counterfeit currency or under the NDPS Act. DB further observed that similarly in other districts also there are FIRs registered under RPC or other statutes, in which for more than a decade, Challans have not been presented. In some of the FIRs allegations are quite serious. Division Bench further observed that there are time lines provided in CrPC and NDPS Act for presentation of Challans, otherwise an accused is entitled to default bail. “Any delay by the Investigating Agency in not completing investigation of the cases registered is seriously impacting the justice delivery system as the guilty are not being brought to court for trial even after decades of registration of cases against them. At this stage we don’t want to comment on the reasons there for, hence, deem it appropriate to seek response from the concerned authorities in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir”, the DB added.
Mumbai:Patna SP probing Sushant case quarantined, hand stamped
Amitabh Bachchan tests negative for COVID-19, discharged from hospital
Sushant case: Rhea Chakraborty “under watch” of Bihar police
Nusrat & Mimi sharing screen space in Bengali film
Cardiology Department SSH Jammu: Harbinger of Hope in Covid Crisis
© 2020 State Times Daily Newspaper