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Police-lawyer nexus results in low rate of conviction

Experts admit a lawyer-policemen nexus exists and cite it as a reason for low conviction rates, reports Naziya Alvi.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2006 02:54 IST

Although not as high-profile as the Jessica Lall murder case, this case has once again brought to light the alleged nexus between police officers and lawyers in botching up evidence to suit the accused.

On December 9, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lau took serious view against one sub-inspector who was involved in getting one particular counsel engaged in certain cases where he was the investigating officer.

The sub-inspector, Rohtash Kumar, is investigating a case of impersonation and forgery against Mukh Bhai Patel who got a fake passport made.

Lau has sought explanation from the Delhi Police on why “one particular counsel is engaged in certain cases where he (Kumar) is the investigating officer”.

Legal experts admit that a nexus between lawyers and policemen exists and cite it as a prominent reason for low conviction rate in cases of heinous crime.

“We all know that such a nexus exists. Why should a policeman, who is investigating the case, recommend a lawyer for the accused. They are surely gaining something out of it. They help lawyers get cases and simply take their share from the lawyer’s fees,” said senior Supreme Court advocate Kamini Jaiswal who also believes that the Bar Council of India so far has failed to curb the problem.

“It starts with policemen secretly recommending a lawyer of their choice to the family of the accused. They would then deliberately not investigate the case thoroughly resulting in an easy acquittal,” explained Ajay Dig Paul, a senior criminal lawyer.

The recommended lawyer could be a prosecutor or arguing the defence’s case.
“His job is to ensure that they do not highlight the loopholes committed by police in probe at the trial stage in the court,” said Dig Paul.

When Manu Sharma, prime accused in the Jessica Lall murder case, and eight others were acquitted by a city court early this year, fingers were pointed at the police and the prosecution for not handling the case properly.

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First Published: Dec 18, 2006 02:54 IST