OTHERS

'Karnataka police machinery ineffective'

NEW DELHI, SEPT. 2. ``The designated judge failed to appreciate that the application filed by the prosecution under Section 321 of the Cr.P.C. (to withdraw TADA charges against certain accused- associates of the forest brigand, Veerappan) indicates that the police machinery in Karnataka became totally ineffective,'' said an SLP filed in the Supreme Court by Mr. Abdul Karim, father of sub-inspector Shakeel Ahmed, who was killed allegedly by Veerappan in 1992.

``It gives a signal to the general public that this kind of concessions given by the State Government enables the potential criminals to become hardened criminals so that whatever heinous offences they commit they can escape from the clutches of criminal justice and even become elected representatives of the people and sit at the place of enactment and spoil the morality of the general public,'' the SLP said.

A Supreme Court Bench said the Government might move an appropriate petition for variation of its (court's) interim order when the Solicitor-General pleaded that some of the women-accused (among the Veerappan associates) be entitled to release for reasons other than those concerned in the SLPs.

The Bench also issued notices to the Union of India, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on two related writ petitions filed by Mr. B. L. Wadhera, an advocate, and another person. These were directed to be tagged on to the main appeals.

The Bench also directed that these cases be expedited and heard at an early date.

PTI reports:

In the petition filed by Mr. Wadhera, the court issued notice to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and the Union Government. When the court asked, ``why Andhra Pradesh,'' Mr. Wadhera said the Chief Minister had asked both the States to resolve the problem as early as possible.

To a query, Mr. Salve said, ``the State has put itself in the situation. But as the situation has arose, it should do something.'' Coming to his rescue, the Attorney-General, Mr. Soli Sorabjee, said, ``the situation has arisen. Now a fine act of balancing has to be performed. Previous lapse cannot be held against a State and it should be permitted to do something which a democratic government is permitted to do under the statute.'' Mr. Salve said that under Section 321 of the Cr.P.C. a public prosecutor alone had the power to withdraw the case against an accused and that the rule had been followed honestly.

The Bench said, ``it appears that Veerappan kidnapped the actor. He made certain demands against the release of the hostage. The State agrees to his demands and then suddenly the public prosecutor thought these accused can be released.''

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