Cal HC takes note of delay in investigation of criminal cases

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Kolkata, Jun 10 (PTI) Taking a serious note of the delay in criminal investigations in West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court has sought information on all such cases in which charge sheets have not been filed before it within the time permissible in law.

Initiating a suo motu PIL on the issue, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee directed that reasons for delay in filing of charge-sheets and details of officers who are 'sitting tight over the files' and not granting sanction for prosecution be submitted to the court.

'The Registrar General of this Court is (being) directed to collect information from all the courts in the state of West Bengal as regards the cases in which the charge sheets have not been filed in court within the time permissible in law,' the bench ordered on Wednesday.

'The information be placed before the court before the next date of hearing in a tabulated form, district wise,' the bench said, fixing the PIL for further hearing on June 28.

The Acting Chief Justice, after having perused information provided by the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in reference to an order of the Jalpaiguri Circuit Bench, stated that the matter be taken on judicial side as a PIL.

The court further noted that as per the information received from the CID, there are 999 cases where charge-sheets had not been filed within the time permitted in different statutes, with some of being more than a decade old.

'The reasons assigned for non-filing of charge sheets within the time permitted are pendency of investigation, non- receipt of reports from different laboratories, sanction for prosecution, arrest of accused, experts opinion, collection of relevant documents etc,' the bench pointed out.

It requested state Advocate General Kishore Dutta to apprise the court of any other case where charge sheets have not been filed within the time permitted.

He was also asked to provide the court information about the infrastructure available in different laboratories of the state, maintaining that the testing facilities have to be such where the reports do not get delayed as that, in turn, affects the investigation.

If the infrastructure needs to be updated or augmented, a plan for that should also be submitted to the court, it added. PTI AMR RMS RMS

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