POLICE WATCH INDIA (Regd. NGO).
Lots of mails keep poring in from the aggrieved wanting to know as to why Public Prosecutors are not able to get the guilty convicted in majority of the cases that they handle and as to who is responsible for the dismally low rate of conviction in India.
“POLICE WATCH INDIA” after carefully analysing the issue raised by the aggrieved, briefly would like to advise steps that are necessary to counter this serious problem especially in the interest of those aggrieved who never get justice which is otherwise due to them as a matter of right.
We are sure that will agree that ideally the conviction rate in criminal cases fought by the state should be hundred percent. The present low conviction rate only shows enormous waste of public money and valuable working hours of the courts.
The problem does not lie with the public prosecutors as much as with the investigating officers commonly known as I.O.s & the S.H.O.S., as every S.H.O. Is more than fully responsible for the action & deeds of his subordinates irrespective of the fact whether their action & deeds are deliberate or otherwise. However it has been observed that mostly it is deliberate & there are obvious reasons for that.
It should be remembered that a state is expected not to take a citizen to court unless it is reasonably sure of his conviction. It is not only a great waste of state resources and time but is also a gross violation of human rights in many cases. The state cannot take away the liberty of a citizen without proper reasons.
A thorough investigation and presenting credible evidence to the government pleader to fight the case with, is the responsibility of the investigating agency. What the police department in many cases does is make some hurried arrests of persons, at times innocents, calling them masterminds of the crime.
The media is given the impression that the case is cracked. In fact, many a times detainees are scapegoats and it becomes the Government Pleader’s lot to fight the case with the half baked chargesheets full of gaping holes. It is the government pleader who has, then, to cringe under the glare of a judge when he is asked, “Do you call this evidence?”. The case, with passage of time goes cold, the culprits living happily ever after.
The remedy for the poor rate of conviction is thorough investigation directed towards solving the case. Indepth investigation (not superficial as is usually done) simultaneously at all possible levels and from all possible angles and quickly arrive at a logical/legally valid conclusion keeping sure shot conviction uppermost in mind.
Importantly there should be no delay as vital clues especially from forensic point of view may be lost. To conduct sustained interrogation of the suspects/accused so as to make the case against the accused absolutely foolproof.
To conduct sustained interrogation of any other source/person/informer, discreetly from whom any such information can be elicited which may prove an important/missing link in solving/cracking the Criminal Case being so investigated.
To avoid involvement of witnesses, as far as possible as, at times the I.O. may encounter tutored witnesses, witnesses who may be bought and sold, cowed down at a later date, especially witnesses who are aged and may or may not survive to depose before a Court of Law, thus weakening the case against the accused.
To obtain/seize/collect all types of conceivable evidence direct, indirect, movable, immovable etc. that is legally necessary to nail the guilty so as to ensure his/her conviction in a Court of Law.
Keeping in mind the tactics adopted by errant & corrupt I.O.s & S.H.O.s it has become absolutely necessary that every Final Investigation Report, Chargesheet alongwith supporting evidence is vetted by an Independent Investigations Auditor (A person who is not subordinate to the Police Department) before the same are produced before the Trail Court Judge.
It will not be out of context to mention the fact that isolated cases of Public Prosecutors being errant & corrupt have also come to the fore.
If there is any such substance/matter in a Criminal Complaint which is not understood by the I.O., to take the help and assistance of any such person/agency who may be helpful in cracking/solving the case even if, the Police and/or any other law enforcing authority has to pay for the services of such person/agency as it is important that the guilty must be punished at all costs.
WE ALL HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S WEAPON IS EVIDENCE. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THAT WEAPON MUST BE ASCERTAINED THOROUGHLY BEFORE THE CASE GOES TO COURT ONLY THEN SURE SHOT CONVICTION IS POSSIBLE.