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HC wants task forces in N-E

Guwahati, Dec. 4: Gauhati High Court has asked police to constitute a task force committee in every district and subdivision of the Northeast for serving summons and execution of arrest warrants issued by the courts. All seven states of the Northeast come under the jurisdiction of Gauhati High Court.

Sources said the high court had to take the step as it had been observed that many a time police personnel did not treat court-related duties as a priority, which delays trials. They said the absence of dedicated police personnel for court-related duties, which results in non-execution of warrants and unserved summons and delays progress of trials, is having a telling effect on the criminal justice scenario.

A source said the high court, in a recent notification, stated that the task force committees should be formed by superintendents of police. Each committee should be led by an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police or an inspector, as the SPs deem fit, and have two or more sub-inspectors and five or more constables, depending on the number of cases in a particular district or subdivision. The notification was circulated among all the outlying benches of the high court and subordinate courts within its jurisdiction.

He said the committees would be assigned the job of “collecting summons and warrants of arrest from the office of the court concerned or the prosecuting inspector or the prosecuting sub-inspector” and “serving summons and execution of arrest warrants issued against witnesses, accused, etc”. “The DSP or the inspector, who will lead the committee, will have to ensure that every summons is served and warrant of arrest executed against the witnesses or the accused and the compliance report is submitted to the court concerned,” he added.

The notification said the SP may hold the DSP or inspector concerned responsible for unserved summons and non-execution of arrest warrants. “In case of failure on part of the task force, the judge of the court, either himself or through the sessions judge, may bring it to the notice of the SP of the district for taking appropriate action against the person responsible for non-serving of summons or non-execution of an arrest warrant,” the source said.

The high court also directed the courts under its jurisdiction to physically verify the pending cases, delete those wrongfully shown as pending and add those not shown as pending.

“The primary objective of this exercise is to correct/update the statistics related to pending cases,” the source said.

A police officer said many police stations were understaffed and ill-equipped, as a result of which they face genuine difficulties in serving summons and executing arrest warrants.