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Judges, officers highlight loopholes in crime investigations

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Srinagar, Apr 26: Jurists and senior police officials on Thursday highlighted loopholes in investigations under the criminal justice system in the state.
They were speaking in a workshop titled ‘Importance of criminal appeal in Higher Courts and role of prosecutors and investigators’ organised by Jammu and Kashmir Police at its Peerbagh headquarters here.
In his welcome address, Inspector General Police, Kashmir range, SP Pani, said the workshop was meant to sensitise the officers and prosecutors in police.
“Fair investigation has a power to uphold the rule of law, which is very important. The investigators and prosecutors shall make maximum use of it,” he said.
“They should have the confidence to approach higher judiciary in case they feel the investigation needs a review or rectification.”
The IGP Kashmir admitted that the prosecutors and investigators “rarely appeal to have the case reviewed”.
“We hardly use the process to go for an appeal or review a particular case. This needs to be changed,” the Kashmir police chief stressed.
He also acknowledged the police department’s “failure in providing fair investigations”.
“It is unfortunate that investigations have taken a toll because of the other commitments of police. We do realise that something needs to be done for strengthening the investigation component,” he said.
In his address, High Court’s Justice M K Hanjura pointed out how “shoddy investigations lead to tampering of facts”.
The High Court judge mentioned a case of 13-year-old girl who was sexually exploited repeatedly.
He blamed how “the lackadaisical approach” of the investigators and prosecutors lead to shielding of the crime.
“A few days back, I went through a case of a girl child who was gang-raped for 22 days. When I went through the file, I realized how the prosecutor had identified the girl while recording the statement,” he said.
“Her statement was recorded three days before the accused filed application for bail in the court,” Hanjura, who was guest of honor on the occasion, said.
Hanjura said the police officer had deliberately suppressed the fact that she was exploited for 22 days.
“As if this was not enough, the prosecutor too concealed this fact, although he had identified her in the court. With the result, the judicial magistrate going through the case had also not taken note of it,” he lamented.
He said there was a “hue and cry” over the Kuthua incident. “But such matters are not prosecuted properly,” he regretted.
Hanjura asserted: “With such horrific incidents coming to the fore, it is high time the prosecutors and investigators work in tandem.”
Justice Ali Mohammed Magrey too accepted the “growing deficiencies” in the justice system.
“The basic problem lies with the investigator. Once the case is registered and investigation is completed, the investigator and prosecutors should both see if the case demands further investigation or not,” he said.
He said the crime scene investigators, prosecutors and judiciary were responsible for upholding the justice delivery system.
“All these three components need to work in rhythm, collect and record all evidence, properly analyze the case and ensure free and fair trial to ensure justice,” he said.
“There are a number of backlog cases due to the diminution of the reliability of evidence resulting in under-trials still waiting for trial and added that the need of the hour is to process those pending cases to strengthen criminal justice system in the state,” he said.


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Kashmir

JK Govt yet to get intimation on ECI teams visit

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Jan 23: Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to get a formal intimation from the Election Commission of India of a proposed visit of a commission’s team for on spot assessment of the situation for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.
Official sources privy to developments on the conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state told that neither the government nor the office of Chief Electoral officer has got a formal intimation from the election commission of India on the visit of a team of the commission expected to make an on spot assessment of the situation before the commission takes a call on the simultaneous conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state or the holding of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections separately.
A top government official on conditions of anonymity told, “We are yet to get both the government and the office of the chief electoral officer is yet to get any intimation on the proposed visit of a team of the election commission of India for on spot assessment of the situation before a final decision on simultaneous or separate conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.
However may be we get a call from the election commission of India on the proposed visit of its team even on January 27 as speculated in some media reports.”
Earlier, there were reports that a team of the Election Commission will soon visit Jammu and Kashmir to review the situation with political leaders and other stakeholders on polls in the state.
“A team of Election Commission will visit the state soon to have a review of situation with political leaders and other stakeholders for holding the elections,” state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar had said.
On the issue of holding of simultaneous polls, the CEO informed that his office had already taken necessary steps for holding the elections, but decision lies with the Election Commission, who would take a final call at an appropriate time after taking all aspects into consideration.

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Kashmir

Injured Habba Kadal youth responding to treatment

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Jan 23: The youth from Srinagar’s Habba Kadal area, who was critically injured after CRPF personnel allegedly hurled a stone at him on Tuesday, is responding to the treatment, doctors at SK Institute of Medical Sciences told The Kashmir Monitor.

Mohammad Younis, who, as per his family, had gone to fetch vegetables, suffered a skull fracture after a stone hit him during clashes in Habba Kadal.

Initially, he was taken to SMHS hospital but the doctors referred him to SKIMS as he was stated to be critical.

 

Medical Superintendent (MS), SKIMS Dr Farooq Jan said that Younis is being treated in the surgical observation unit of the hospital.

“Patient is okay. As of now, there is no need to worry. We are closely monitoring him,” he said.

The CRPF spokesman had claimed the youth “slipped and fell down while being chased”.

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Kashmir

Weatherman predicts week-long dry spell in Valley

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Srinagar, Jan 23: After three-day long wet spell across Kashmir, the weather on Wednesday showed improvement with local meteorological department forecasting dry weather till January 29.
The three-day-long wet spell ended across the Valley today. The MeT department had predicted improvement in the weather conditions from Tuesday evening.
The local Meteorological department told that there is no forecast of rain or snowfall across the Valley till January 29 here, saying that the weather would remain cloudy on Jan 25.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan has issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division on Wednesday.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh of J&K state.
As per a hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has asked the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DCs to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.

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