With over three lakh “untraced and cancelled” cases pending in various trial courts in the capital, sources said the Delhi Police Commissioner will request the Delhi High Court registrar to clear the final reports in these cases. According to police sources, this will considerably lessen the workload of investigating officers (IOs) — who look at 30-40 cases on an average and attend court hearings in every case.
Police data accessed by The Indian Express showed that of the 3,14,248 cases, 2,80,861 untraced and 33,387 cancelled cases are awaiting disposal. Sources said during a recent law and order meeting, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had raised the issue, following which Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik decided to approach the court and request speedy disposal of such cases. Sources added that the police chief will also request the registrar to create a Central Registry in all court complexes to keep track of pending cases.
“If the courts set up a mechanism for clearing final reports soon, it will release the workload on our policemen as they have a large number of cases to investigate,” a police officer said.
Delhi has six district courts — Karkardooma, Rohini, Dwarka, Tis Hazari and Patiala House and Saket — where cases from the 13 police districts and other units of Delhi Police are heard. The districts courts come under the administrative jurisdiction of Delhi High Court.
When contacted, President of Delhi Judicial Service Association, Rajesh Malik, told The Indian Express that the reason for delay in disposal of such cases is because complainants often file protest petitions, asking for a reinvestigation.
“When the IO files a final report to close the case, the court calls the complainant to ask if he/she is satisfied with the probe. If the complainant is not satisfied, he/she can file a protest petition. The process of reinvestigation often causes delays,” Malik said.
Citing an example, Malik said he is presently hearing a murder case from 2003 in which police had filed an “untraced” report.
“Since the complainant was not satisfied with the police report, he filed a protest petition. Police now have to reinvestigate the case,” he said. A cancelled report is filed when the complainant wants to withdraw the case or if police don’t find any evidence. An untraced report is filed if the accused is never found.