Anti-Corruption Cases: Govt to take action against hostile witnesses under perjury

Anti-Corruption Cases: Govt to take action against hostile witnesses under perjury

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Turning hostile hampers investigation, deliverance of justice’: Abdul Haq

SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 14: Minister for Law and Justice, Abdul Haq on Saturday directed law officials to invoke perjury against officials or private parties who turn hostile during trial of cases thus affecting the deliverance of justice.

The Minister said this while reviewing functioning of court cases pertaining to Vigilance Organization and Crime Branch.

The meeting was attended by Advocate General Jahangir Iqbal Ganai, Secretary Law, Abdul Majid Bhat, Director Vigilance SJM Geelani, IG Crime, Alok Puri, DIG Crime Ashkur Wani, SSP Crime Kashmir, Javid Ahmad Koul, Deputy Directors, Special Prosecuting Officers, Chief Prosecuting Officers of Crime and Vigilance Departments.

During the meeting it was observed that most of the cases are disposed off without conviction as either witnesses turn hostile or Investigating Officers and other government officials don’t turn up in the courts during trial.

The Minister took serious note of the matter and directed the officials to proceed against such witnesses under perjury for hampering the process of investigation and the subsequent deliverance of justice.

He said acting against such erring witnesses is important for deterrence and will ultimately help in delivery of justice. He said steps should be taken to ensure that all Prosecution witnesses appear in cases before the courts.

Law Minister also called for cooperation between different law enforcing agencies, investigation agencies, prosecution wing of Law Department and investigation wing of Police Department to ensure fool proof investigation and early disposal of cases in courts.

He said different departments should cooperate with the vigilance and crime departments with regard to producing documents, records, files and other data to the investigating agencies within a specific time so that investigation by these agencies is not hampered or delayed. He said in this regard an order will soon be issued to all the departments to ensure data is given to these agencies as soon as possible.

Minister asks the investigating agencies to work with extra zeal and vigorously to make their investigation foolproof by using modern scientific ways of investigation. He said a foolproof investigation will ensure that no corrupt official or any other criminal will go scot-free. He said if a criminal gets away owing to faults in investigation, she/he becomes a serial offender and a nuisance for the society.

During the meeting, Minister was informed that there are 503 cases pending in different anti-corruption courts of the state out of which 56 cases are at final stage while 391 cases at evidence stage and charge sheet has been produced in 56 cases.

Minister said government is going to improve the criminal justice system in the state by fine tuning the investigation process, improving infrastructure and deputing dedicated Police officers for investigation.

He said it is the responsibility of the state government to ensure that justice is delivered to citizens and directed the officials of prosecution to ensure speedy disposal of criminal cases so that justice is delivered at earliest.

Abdul Haq said he will regularly monitor the performance of prosecutors, public prosecutors and other field staff and action will be taken against those who fail to ensure speedy trial or investigation of cases.  Minister further stated that promotions will only be made based on performance of the officers.