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Shortage of prosecutors

We learn the number of criminal cases registered by the Crime Branch of the State Police is greater than the number of cases disposed by the organization in a year. The reason for this gap is non-availability of Prosecutors and Investigating Officers. Cases have to be dealt with in accordance with the prescribed law and the Prosecutors are supposed to be the legal luminaries conversant with criminal law. The Crime Branch of J&K Police was initially a part of CID Organization but in the year 1978 it was separated to function independently. Two Police Stations-Police Station Crime Branch Srinagar and Police Station Crime Branch Jammu were created to deal with specified crimes. Besides investigation of inter-districts, inter-state crime or crime of any special nature which has wider ramifications in the crime management system, the Crime Branch is exclusively looking after campaign against circulation of fake currency, narcotics, cyber crime and human trafficking etc. The latter mentioned crimes have increased in the State with the rise of militancy. This has put much pressure on the Crime Branch as cases have increased phenomenally and the nature of crime has also taken new dimensions. During the year 2016, the Crime Branch registered 158 fresh cases as a result of which the number of cases increased to 635 by December 31, 2016. However, against 635 cases only 68 were disposed off leaving 567 cases pending. These cases cannot be tackled unless there is adequate manpower in the shape of Prosecutors and Investigating Officers. It is not physically possible for just 10 Prosecutors to attend various cases at different courts in different districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Sometimes back Chief Prosecution Officers of the Executive Police were directed to appear before the courts in the Crime Branch cases yet this step has failed to bring any satisfactory impact on reducing the number of cases that have to be given judicial dispensation.
Sharp increase in criminal cases in the State is also an indication of some inefficiency creeping into the police administration in the State and can also be called a reflection on the law and order situation in the State. Registering criminal cases is not the solution of this menace. The real solution lies in allowing speedy disposal of criminal cases pending with the Crime Branch because this is going to send a message across the board that the crimes will be taken due cognizance of by the law enforcing authority. The ultimate aim is to reduce the number of crimes when exemplary punishment is given to the criminals against whom criminal allegations are proved.
In final analysis we think that firstly it is important to provide the law enforcing agency the necessary quantum of manpower in the shape of Prosecutors and Investigating Officers. Secondly, the law and order enforcing authority must accelerate its performance and activities with the aim of reducing the number of crimes happening in the State.

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