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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 22 October 2020 9.55 AM IST

EDITORIAL: Cases should be handed over to audacious police officers

editorial

The role of politicians in influencing the crimes in the country is very big. A person is able to delay a case or escape from the clutches of the law if he has a good political hold irrespective of however serious the crime is. If those involved in the case is a people’s representative, they will be safer and the direction of their case will be according to their wishes. In reality law will catch up with only ordinary citizens who are involved in any case.

Anyone would be shocked by the number of people’s representatives with criminal cases against them. According to the data available, all over India, there are 4859 such persons and their cases are pending in various courts.
They will create some reason or other to delay their cases for maximum possible days. For this they will influence the police or even threaten them.
.Even if a criminal case accused politician or people’s representative walks into the police station the policemen will have to show them respect or else they will face some action from their superiors like getting transferred to a faraway station.
The Supreme Court has expressed surprise at the framing of an indictment by a lower court after 36 years against a leader in Punjab. The criminal case was filed in 1983. The top court has commented that it was the duty of the prosecution to expedite the trial.

The apex court has sought information from all high courts on pending criminal cases against current and former MPs-MLAs. The court was informed by the amicus curiae that the country’s leaders are on trial in 4,442 cases. Of these, 2,556 accused are current MP-MLAs.

A bench of Justices N.V. Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy said in its order that now the high courts will have to give details of the cases pending against leaders till September 12 through e-mails. These will be cases pending under special laws such as black money, anti-corruption law, money laundering prevention law.

The bench will look into pending cases against current and former MPs-MLAs and may give necessary directions to the chief justices of high courts on September 16 regarding speedy trial of these cases.

Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria, who is playing the role of amicus curiae, during a video conference hearing on the PIL of BJP leader and Advocate Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay, apprised the bench of the situation and said that many criminal cases against politicians in states like UP and Bihar have been pending for decades. He specifically mentioned this particular case in Punjab.

The report, compiled by Hansaria with the help of advocate Sneha Kalita, states that a crime took place in Punjab in 1983 for which there could be life imprisonment, but in this case, prosecutions have been set in 2019 after 36 years.

The bench expressed displeasure, saying: “This is astonishing. Why is the 1983 case still pending in Punjab?”

The bench also sought a response from the state’s advocate. When asked that this information can be obtained from another advocate of the state high court, the bench said:

In connection with this, the high court also had made the observation that the reluctance or fear of the police to arrest an accused politician and produce him or her in the court for trial in time-bound manner is the reason for the backlog of cases.

Policemen are under fear of taking action lest they lose their job; they think their future is in the hands of politicians.

In Kerala 324 cases against politicians are still pending in various courts here.
The main reason is the failure of the police to carry out trial procedures. The cases include the offence that can invite even life term or death penalty.

Meanwhile, the high court also has criticized the police for their laxity and has asked the superior officers to arrest the accused politicians if their sub-ordinates are reluctant.

The way the police officers, whose knees knock when they see politicians, handle the ordinary citizens itself is proof of their impartiality in rendering justice.

Though the Election Commission also suggested giving no Lok Sabha or Assembly seats to politicians with criminal cases against them, there was unanimous voice against it that said that only those with proven cases against them need to be denied seats.

Finally, the only reformation happened was the inclusion of case details of the candidates. What is the benefit of this? Even people with 100 to 150 cases have won the election and reached law-making houses.
The irony is, even murder case accused have contested from the jail and won the election. 40 pc of the MPs are reportedly involved in cases.

If trial is conducted in fast-track courts and the accused politicians are convicted, it would be possible to keep criminal candidates out of the fray. Still there is another hurdle, that is if the quantum of punishment is not pronounced within a limited years, the Election won’t be able to ban the candidate.
Anyway, pending cases will have to be taken up without delay and for that, the police should end the hide-and-seek game. Let us hope that the Supreme Court intervention will help create a circumstance for that.

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