Non-appearance of cops in drug trials: Charges framed but over 16,000 NDPS cases pending for more than two years in Punjab - Hindustan Times
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Non-appearance of cops in drug trials: Charges framed but over 16,000 NDPS cases pending for more than two years in Punjab

By, Chandigarh
Nov 02, 2023 07:30 AM IST

The report signed by state administrative secretary (home) Gurkirat Kirpal Singh was prepared following directions of the high court on October 17. It was to be submitted on October 31, but the case could not be taken up on the said date and would be considered on November 16.

A report prepared by the Punjab government has revealed that there are 16,149 drug cases pending trial in the courts of Punjab where charges were framed more than two years back.

As per the state DGP’s submissions in the high court, Punjab records 12,000 to 14,000 FIRs under the NDPS Act every year.
As per the state DGP’s submissions in the high court, Punjab records 12,000 to 14,000 FIRs under the NDPS Act every year.

The report signed by state administrative secretary (home) Gurkirat Kirpal Singh was prepared following directions of the high court on October 17. It was to be submitted on October 31, but the case could not be taken up on the said date and would be considered on November 16.

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The bench of justice Manjari Nehru Kaul was prompted to seek the data as it came to fore that in large number of cases, cops who were to appear in drug seizure cases as prosecution witnesses, have not been appearing for years. As a result, the courts are forced to pass orders on their release on bail due to long period in jail.

These 16,149 cases are pending in state’s different 31 units divided into districts, police commissionerates, and other units such as special task force and state special operation cell etc. Highest number of cases pending are in Amritsar rural (1,596) followed by Jalandhar rural (1,254) and Moga (1,082). Patiala, Kapurthala and Muktsar have over 900 pending cases each. As per the state DGP’s submissions in the high court, Punjab records 12,000 to 14,000 FIRs under the NDPS Act every year.

Along with the data, the administrative secretary (home) detailed steps to be taken to speed up the trials. The report says a state-level monitoring committee would be formed under the officer not below the rank of the ADGP to monitor trials and other aspects and it would meet monthly.

It also says any cop found harbouring/assisting drug accused persons would be dismissed, similar punishment would be given to those officers who shelter them. Any police officer facing disciplinary proceedings about drugs cases would not be appointed neither as probe officer in drugs cases nor the station house officers. It further says, a cop appearing as witness can seek only one adjournment and DSPs of the respective areas would have to ensure that witnesses appear before courts. The criminal cases can be registered against those not wilfully appearing as witnesses.

A format has also been prepared to track trials, appearance of witnesses and other related aspects which would be compiled by specially created pairavi cells to monitor trials. The cells would submit periodic reports to field unit head on the given format, the report says.

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