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'Delays due to probe agencies'

Lack of time bound probes and chargesheets running into thousands of pages filed in courts by the investigating agencies are the main reasons for corruption cases remaining pending for many years, chief justice of high courts have told the government. Nagendar Sharma reports. Current status and changes suggested

delhi Updated: Oct 06, 2011 01:31 IST
Nagendar Sharma

Lack of time bound probes and chargesheets running into thousands of pages filed in courts by the investigating agencies are the main reasons for corruption cases remaining pending for many years, chief justice of high courts have told the government.

In responses to a letter from the law ministry, which asked them to give top priority to graft cases, the chief justices have welcomed setting-up of special courts, but have stressed the solution lies in speedy, result oriented probes.

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The replies by chief justices across the country have been made public on a RTI query by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, following a HT story on a letter by the government's legal arm to all HCs on fast-tracking corruption cases.

"There is delay in the stage of investigation itself as the investigating agencies do not follow scientific methods of investigation and do not make use of digital technology," replied the Madras high court chief justice, MY Eqbal.

In his response, Justice S Rafat Alam, chief justice of the Allahabad high court, wrote: "Prosecuting agency must be sensitised to submit chargesheets as early as possible so as to avoid any delay."

Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court pointed towards the carelessness in filing chargesheets in courts.

"The prosecution agency cites a large number of witnesses in such cases, out of whom a majority is of official witnesses who stand transferred to other stations before the case reaches the stage of recording evidence," Justice Gogoi wrote.

The Jharkhand HC, in its reply, stated: "There are unexplained delays in submission of chargesheets by CBI and the prosecution takes much time in producing witnesses. These run into thousands of pages..."

The Uttarakhand high court suggested "exemplary punishment to public servants" convicted in corruption cases and stressed on time bound investigations.