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Law officer inefficient: Bench

By Mohamed Imranullah S.

MADURAI, NOV. 18. The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today came down on government counsel for not effectively presenting the prosecution case and helping it in delivering justice, on a plea made by a man to produce his wife in court.

Kathiresan of Madurai filed the habeas corpus petition pleading that his wife, Dhanalakshmi, who was allegedly abducted by one Saravanan, be produced in court.

Passing orders, a Division Bench, comprising Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice S. Ashok Kumar, said: "The inefficiency of the law officer (additional public prosecutor) has led to the exploitation of valuable time of this court as well as state money.

"It is unfortunate that the APP without looking into the case diary has chosen to file three reports ... A perusal of the case diary shows that even after marriage, the detenu continued to have relationship with her former lover... Had it been brought to the notice of this court, the case would have been solved much earlier," the Bench said.

During arguments the APP agreed with the Bench, which pointed out that the case diary showed that the woman would not have been abducted but would have eloped with her lover.

"If that is your case, why did your special police team go to Bombay? Was it for an excursion? Without even looking into the case diary, you have filed three counter affidavits. Show some minimum interest, otherwise do not appear before us... don't convert this into a magistrate court; you are repeatedly stating in every other case that a special team has been constituted and (it has) gone to Mumbai, better you too accompany them," the Bench said.

It warned counsel for the petitioner that costs of Rs. 5,000 would be imposed for misleading the court all these days without divulging the facts. "You think the court has no other business. The Madurai Bench is unfortunate to have such law officers."

When the case came up yesterday, the Bench, annoyed at the number of adjournments sought by the APP on the ground that a special team was searching for the woman in Mumbai, directed him to produce the case diary.

Case diary shows up

During the hearing of another habeas corpus petition before the Bench, the APP informed the court that the case diary was not available. But when the Bench, irked at the answer, said the diary should have been produced as an order had been passed yesterday, a Sanarpatti station sub-inspector produced it.

"You made the officer stand outside with the diary and gave a false statement... is it not a fraud on the court?... If you don't respect the court, they (police) too will not respect [the court]," the Bench told the APP.

After going through the diary, the Bench said, "Having collected so much of materials why didn't you proceed against the person with whom the detenu was last seen... It seems you are now functioning for the accused, not for the interests of the state... we have such worthless officers."

Case transferred

The Bench held that a perusal of the case diary created a suspicion on the conduct of investigation and directed the Superintendent of Police, Dindigul, to take disciplinary action against the law officers who conducted the probe. The Bench also ordered the transfer of the case from the Sanarpatti police to the SP's office.

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