With the Madras High Court directing the subordinate courts to dispose of long-pending cases, instructions have been given for disposal by executing non-bailable warrants (NBWs), producing witnesses and by withdrawing suitable cases.
A decision to this effect was taken at the first half-yearly coordination meeting of the metropolitan magistrates with city police officers on November 20 in the presence of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, R.Killivalavan, and the Chennai Police Commissioner, T.Rajendran. The meeting was attended among others by Additional Commissioners, Joint Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners of Police. The High Court had directed the lower courts to dispose of cases pending for more than 20 years within three months and those pending for more than 15 years and up to 20 years within six months.
Another decision was that steps should be taken to dispose of Senior Citizens' cases. A nodal officer in the rank of Sub-Inspector of police should be appointed to regulate and monitor execution of NBWs and serving of court summons. Police should file the charge sheets without delay in cases in which the accused were in judicial custody.
The metropolitan magistrates and police officers should follow the guidelines by the High Court in 2008 in the Romaiah vs State while dealing with dowry cases and in 2010 in Mrs.Jayalakshmi vs State regarding “remand extension.”
Magistrates should take charge sheets on file within three days, if they were in order. Steps should be taken for producing under trial prisoners in courts before 3 p.m. to examine witnesses. The courts should not grant too many adjournments for examining defence witnesses.
Investigating officers should meet the metropolitan magistrates frequently and Assistant Commissioners of police at least once in a month to find out ways and means to quickly dispose of cases and to execute NBWs. The courts should send a list of closed FIRs to the police stations concerned, within 15 days of closure.
Keywords: Madras HC pending cases