In Bihar, timely justice for SCs/STs still a distant dream

In Bihar, timely justice for SCs/STs still a distant dream

New Delhi: It seems the administrative system is on the verge of 'collapse' in Bihar, which is led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, as officials have not taken the instructions of the CM very 'seriously', particularly in ensuring timely justice to victims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for whom the Bihar CM had once announced job to next to kin of SC/ST person in case the person gets murdered.

The startling revelation has come to the notice in a report prepared by Additional Director General (ADG) of weaker sections after reviewing the actions that were taken by authorities of three ranges –Magadh, Central, and Shahabad –in the cases related to SC/ST atrocities.

In the report, which is submitted by ADG (weaker sections) Anil Kishore Yadav, it has been stated that during the review meeting, it was found that the laid down provision in the SC/ST Act of filing chargesheet within 60 days was also not being followed.

The report also highlighted that recording of statements of complainants and witnesses under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was also not being done within the stipulated time.

While analysis the data of a district, it was found that in 81 per cent of cases the accused were let off after serving just notices under CrPC -41-A, while in 23 per cent cases, the final form had been submitted, and in just 19 per cent cases the police could start proceedings to carry out arrests or attachment of property.

Even though all SPs and range DIGs and IGs have been asked to monitor the cases to ensure timely completion of cases, several cases are pending in 14 districts and with 346 pending cases, Patna is at the top, followed by Muzaffarpur (328) and Saran (315).

As per the report, of the 12,224 cases, 7,242 chargesheet had been filed till December 2020, while it was pending in 3,622 cases and between 2015-2020, of the total 40,317 registered cases, 436 were of murder, 350 rape cases and around 2,350 cases were related to the injury.

Notably, the ADG (weaker section) had on March 17, 2020, directed the investigating officer and supervisory officers to do spot inspection within three days of the incident, carry out arrests if found true, and do video-recording of all the proceedings related to the case.

The Bihar CM had also on September 5, 2020, issued a direction to complete the probe expeditiously and take necessary action against the errant officers.

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