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Court rap for Assam police

- Loopholes in probe delay justice: HC

Guwahati, Dec. 17: Gauhati High Court today pulled up Assam police over loopholes in their investigation procedures, which not only delayed case disposal but deprived many from getting justice.

Assam director-general of police J.N. Choudhury, who was summoned to the high court, was today apprised of the loopholes for about three hours and directed to follow at least five guidelines set by the court for improving their investigation process. Choudhury, accompanied by A.P. Raut, ADGP (law and order) and M.K. Sahay, ADGP (CID) attended the court hearing in connection with complaints of improper investigation in 23 cases.

Public prosecutor Ziaur Kamar told The Telegraph that the high court, while hearing the complaints, found loopholes in basics of investigation like registration of FIRs, inquest and seeking medical report in criminal cases, among others. The division bench of Justice K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak today drew the police chief’s attention to the loopholes detected during hearing of a complaint lodged by Arup Borgohain of Sivasagar district relating to a murder case.

“Based on the findings during the hearing, the bench issued five major guidelines to be followed by the police to improve their investigation process. The court will forward the guidelines to both the home department as well as DGP’s office for compliance,” Kamar said.

The court directed that the police should consider the general diary of a case as an FIR instead of waiting for a formal FIR. Apart from these, the police should try to collect other details of a complaint, try to find out motive of the crime, inform the district executive magistrate and do the inquest (circumstances and evidence at the crime scene) immediately and the cases requiring DNA profiling should be done so by sending the blood samples to a forensic laboratory.

“Many times the police wait for formal FIRs for starting investigation. This delays the investigation process,” Kamar said.

The court had earlier summoned the DGP to be present in the court on December 12 but the police chief failed to make it to the hearing. ADGP (law and order) A.P. Raut had attended the court yesterday but the court refused to accept his views.

Sources said the division bench today expressed surprise when it found that the police manual did not have a format for inquest, which is a basic of investigation into a criminal case. “Raut informed the court that the police were revising their manual to incorporate the format soon,” the source said.

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