Prosecution failed to produce a single witness in five years in 498-A RPC case

Court acquits the accused with strictures against Senior Police Officers


Jammu, Feb 8: In a significant order the Court of Special Railway Magistrate (Sub-Judge), Jammu Yahaya Firdous Ahangar while acquitting four accused in FIR No.38/2010 of Police Station Channi Himmat, Jammu under Section 498-A, 323, 109 RPC has passed strictures against the poor functioning of the executing agency of J&K Police which miserably failed to produce a single witness for a period of five years after framing of charge on February, 24, 2014. The Court while expressing its displeasure observed that the omission on the part of the Police is a matter of concern, particularly in a case where the complainant is a woman who has been allegedly subjected to cruelty and harassment under the pretext of dowry.
The Special Railway Magistrate (Sub-Judge), Jammu Yahaya Firdous Ahangar has further observed that this Court keeping in view the pendency of the charge sheet which is pending since January, 3, 2011 and is hit by the Action Plan formulated by the High Court vide Circular No.55 dated July, 7, 2017 directed the prosecution vide order dated November, 20, 2017 to produce all the witnesses which were six in numbers within six hearings failing which it was directed that appropriate orders shall be passed. The Court further observed that among the six witnesses mentioned in the list of the witnesses the prosecution witnesses from S.No.1 to 3 are residents of District Kathua whereas rest of the three witnesses are residing within a radius of six kilometers from this Court but prosecution has not taken any effort to call these witnesses.
The Prosecuting Officer Gupta representing the State submitted that they had issued various summons to all the witnesses not only in reference to order dated November, 20, 2017 but also prior to it and prosecution tried its best but unfortunately the executing agencies did not respond well in time and failed to execute the summons issued by the prosecution.
While expressing its displeasure the Special Railway Magistrate (Sub-Judge), Jammu Yahaya Firdous Ahangar observed that this is very surprising to note that once the prosecution issues dockets/summons to the prosecution witnesses, the executing agency is under bounden duty to execute the dockets /summons in accordance with the procedure well in time and respond the prosecution wing properly. The Court further observed that the cases where the atrocities have been committed upon the woman must be on priority not only with the Courts but with the prosecution as well as the executing agency and in this regard this Court is of the view that the senior officers must seek periodical reports from the concerned agencies regarding the stage and status of all those cases where woman are involved or woman are subjected to the cruelties but it seems that no concrete steps are being taken by the Supervisory Officers of the prosecution to monitor these kinds of cases.
While passing strictures over the poor functioning of the executing agency of Police and lack of supervision by the senior police officers Special Railway Magistrate (Sub-Judge), Jammu Yahaya Firdous Ahangar observed that the Court has also to consider the right of the accused guaranteed under Constitution for speedy trial and therefore the court cannot allow to drag the accused on inefficiency of the prosecution for years together, as the charge sheet is already pending trial since January, 3, 2011 and already more than seven years have elapsed, as such, the Court cannot allow further time to the prosecution.
The Court further said that in the aforementioned backdrop it is an appropriate time for the Supervisory Officers SSP and IGP to have an introspection of the prosecution more particularly that of executing agency so that the faith of the people in the institution of administration of justice among which police is also an important organ, is maintained at all levels. With these observations the court dismissed the charge sheet for want of evidence and acquitted all the accused and further directed that a copy of this Judgment be made available to IGP Jammu, SSP Jammu and Director Prosecution for information.
Advocate Dharminder Singh appeared for all the four accused namely Abdul Hameed son of Ghulam Hussain, Mishra Begum wife of Ghulam Hussain, Ali Mohammad son of Ghulam Hussain and Haseena Bao wife of Ali Mohammad all residents of Damal Hanji Pora, Kulgam at
present Channi Rama, Jammu. JNF

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