The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has pulled up local investigation agencies in the UT for "sleeping over" criminal cases registered years ago, including cases containing serious allegation under the Prevention of Corruption Act, J&K Ranbir Penal Code, etc.
"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.
…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," the bench comprised of Justices Rajesh Bindal and Rajnesh Oswal observed.
The bench has accordingly issued notices to the Home Secretary, Secretary Department of General Administration, UT of J&K, Director General of Police and Director, State Vigilance Bureau, UT of J&K.
The order was passed in a suo moto case registered by the High Court after Justice Bindal came across the fact that many criminal cases registered against Government employees were not taken to their logical conclusion and in many of them even chargesheets had not been filed by the investigation agencies.
This prompted the Judge to seek information from all District Courts in the UT regarding FIRs where chargesheets had not been presented.
"Astonished" by data received, he requested Chief Justice Gita Mittal to take up the issue on the judicial side pursuant to which the present division bench was constituted.
"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," the bench observed.
As recorded in the order, cases have been pending before the Anti-Corruption Court at Jammu since 1998, where challans have not been filed. Similarly, FIRs registered for offences under RPC at Jammu are pending due to non-presentation of challans for about a decade. Some of such FIRs pertain to offences for counterfeit currency or under the NDPS Act.
The Court has now asked the Home Secretary, the DGP and the Director SVB to show cause why investigation in these old FIRs with serious offences has not been completed till date and challan presented in court.
Inter alia, the bench has asked them to supply information of (i) Investigating Officers of such cases; (ii) Present status of investigation; (iii) Whether there is any system of monitoring of investigation in the FIRs registered; (iv) Whether there are any administrative instructions for taking action against such IOs.
Further, the Secretary General Administration Department has been asked to apprise the Court on the following issues:
(i) departmental action taken against the government employees involved in corruption matters and the status thereof;
(ii) 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?
(iii) 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 ?
(iv) 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? The court be also apprised of their present place of posting.
(v) If any of these employees have retired from service, whether retiral dues have been paid to them?
The matter is now listed for hearing on August 10, 2020.
Case Title: Court on its own motion v. UT of J&K & Ors.
Case No.: WP (C) PIL No. 14/2020
Quorum: Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal
Appearance: Senior AAG Raman Sharma (for State)
Click Here To Download Order