Madurai City Police have been successful in restraining habitual offenders who pose threats to the maintenance of law and order, and indulge in property crime cases, by extracting bonds from them, using the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The city has over 700 gangsters, and scores of habitual chain-snatchers, and has been keeping a tab on them by closely following their movements.
“These men still try to indulge in criminal activities like murders and robberies. Multiple warnings often do not deter them from carrying on with their criminal activities,” Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Police (Law and Order), R. Shiva Prasad, said.The police now make the habitual offenders give an undertaking in writing that they would ensure good behaviour for a certain period of time. “Though we can make them issue bonds for up to three years, usually we get the bonds for a period of one year for good behaviour,” Mr. Shiva Prasad said.
Under the provision, the person concerned has to produce two sureties for ₹1 lakh each. “We ensure that only close family members, like fathers or brothers produce the surety, as they would be able to effectively keep check over the behaviour of the criminals,” the DC said.
Jail for violation
Anyone who violates the bond condition and indulges in criminal activity would be jailed for the remaining period, as per the bond conditions. “If a person tries to violate the bond condition in the second month after its execution, he will have to spend the remaining period, that is 10 months, in jail. This is a good deterrence mechanism that helps to restrain such offenders,” he said.
In the city, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) has the power to hold hearings and make criminals execute bonds. “Though the hearings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays, we can have it any day depending upon the situation,” he said.
If the police official concerned is able to convince the DC about the impending danger due to any anti-social element, the DC can make them execute the bond. “Even the Railway Police and Civil Supplies – Criminal Investigation Department officials come to the city police for binding over habitual offenders in their area,” he added.
Stating that this mechanism has been very effective, Mr. Shiva Prasad said that only 78 out of the 1,358 persons who had executed bonds in 2019 had violated the bond conditions. Similarly, in 2020, out of 953 bonds issued till September 7, only 69 were violated.
The city police have bound over 222 persons in the last two months alone, he added.