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Investigating officers must pay for their lapses, rules Supreme Court

New Delhi: In a first for the criminal justice administration, the Supreme Court has ordered fixing  accountability on investigating officers and public prosecutors, saying they must face punishment if it was found that their deliberate
India TV News Desk January 08, 2014 11:27 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: In a first for the criminal justice administration, the Supreme Court has ordered fixing  accountability on investigating officers and public prosecutors, saying they must face punishment if it was found that their deliberate lapses resulted in acquittal of the accused in cases involving serious offences.

A bench of justices C K Prasad and J S Khehar expressed concern over the growing number of acquittals due to poor investigation and directed all state governments to put in place a mechanism within six months for proper training of its officers to ensure the accused is punished and at the same time innocent persons are not framed in criminal cases.  

The bench directed the Home Department of every state to examine all orders of acquittal and to record reasons for the failure of each prosecution case for finding out mistakes committed during investigation and prosecution.

The apex court directed that all state governments incorporate in its existing training programmes for junior investigation/ prosecution officials course-content drawn from the analysis of such cases.  

The court passed the order while acquitting a person accused of raping and killing of a six-yea-old girl for a mere consideration of Rs 1,000 on the ground that there were many lapses in the probe.  

The court also expressed concern over the cases in which people are framed by police and has to spend years behind the bars before being acquitted.  

The bench said they feel crestfallen, heartbroken and sorrowful for not delivering justice to the girl who was killed due to poor job done by the investigator and perpetrators "must be walking around in Ahmedabad or some other city/town in India, with his head held high".