Tamil Nadu Director General of Police and Head of Police Force Shankar Jiwal has issued a circular instructing all Commissioners and Superintendents of Police across the State to ensure that appeals against acquittal in criminal cases are filed on time to prevent culprits escape from the clutches of law solely due to the delay in preferring appeals.
In the circular, the DGP stated that the Madras High Court had recently asked State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah to take note of the fact that courts had to dismiss some apppeals against acquittals solely on the ground of inordinate delay in filing those appeals and therefore the SPP had written to him seeking necessary action on the issue.
The DGP pointed out that Section 378(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure empowers the State government to direct the prosecutor concerned to prefer an appeal against any order of acquittal. Further, Section 378(3) requires the police to obtain the leave of the High Court while preferring appeal and Section 378 (5) requires appeals to be filed within six months if the complainant in the case concerned was a public servant and within 60 days in all other cases.
Therefore, the DGP instructed all Commissioners and Superintendents of Police to conduct weekly review of acquittal orders passed by the sessions courts or other courts in cases involving heinous crimes such as murder, rape, dacoity and narcotic dealings. He also directed that proposals for filing appeals should be submitted in his office within a week after obtaining certified copies of the acquittal orders from the courts concerned.
The DGP also wanted the work of obtaining certified order copies from the court to be assigned to competent policemen in every establishment and said that only if the proposals were sent at the earliest, he would be able to obtain permission from the State government on time for filing the appeals. The DGP also marked a copy of his circular to the Inspectors General of Police in all four zones and the Deputy Inspectors General of Police in various ranges.