Prosecution director summons district attorneys over low conviction rate in Punjab
The conviction rate is as low as 45% in Mohali, followed by Faridkot and Muktsar where it is 47%. It is 48% in Fazilka and Bathinda, 49% in Ferozepur, 51% in Jalandhar and 54% in Amritsar.punjab Updated: Feb 23, 2018 11:27 IST
In view of the low conviction rate in criminal cases in as many as nine districts of Punjab, the director, prosecution, has convened a meeting of all district attorneys (DAs) and other law officers on Friday to find out the reasons behind it and to seek explanation from the officers concerned.
The conviction rate is as low as 45% in Mohali, followed by Faridkot and Muktsar where it is 47%. It is 48% in Fazilka and Bathinda, 49% in Ferozepur, 51% in Jalandhar and 54% in Amritsar. Besides, Moga also features in the list of districts shortlisted for low conviction rate by the authorities concerned. There should be at least 60% conviction rate in the criminal cases filed after proper scrutiny by the prosecution authorities concerned.
Sources said the director, prosecution, Vijay Singla has already sounded DAs of the districts concerned over the issue and told them to come fully prepared for the Friday’s meeting to be held at Chandigarh.
“90% cases filed by the police are without any supporting scientific evidence whereas conviction in the court depends only on the production of solid evidence.” — Rajvinder Singh Bains, Senior criminal lawyer
“There are multiple factors for the low conviction rate, including major flaws in police investigation, inefficiency in gathering evidence, and lack of proper follow-up of cases during the trial period and so on. The matter will be taken up with the police authorities concerned as well,” a top official of the prosecution department said, on the condition of anonymity.
He said law officers are supposed to provide legal guidance to police officials in gathering the proper evidence to file only those cases in the court where solid evidence is available against the accused to ensure conviction. “At the argument stage, the law officers need to prepare thoroughly for cross-examination to prove the charges levelled against the accused.”
He said getting recorded the evidence from witnesses plays most crucial role in any case in the court. “At that stage, law officers are required to remain most focused. There are instances when prime witnesses turn hostile and that leads to acquittal. Or sometimes, prime witnesses do not turn up for getting the evidence recorded. At times, public is also at fault as in cases of fraud and cheating, it has been observed that complainant reached compromise with the accused after filing the case,” he added.
Senior criminal lawyer Rajvinder Singh Bains said, “90% cases filed by the police are without any supporting scientific evidence whereas conviction in the court depends only on the production of solid evidence. Till the time police use torture and other harsh measures to gather evidence against the accused, the conviction rate will not increase”.
He added that the police need to change its investigation methodology to gather scientific evidence for improving the conviction rate. “Also, as cases linger on for years in the court, this also affects the conviction rate”.
First Published: Feb 23, 2018 11:26 IST