PENDING CASE DIARIES
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, June 28: For the undermanned Guwahati Police groaning under a crushing workload, investigating crimes figures very low in the course of duty. The upshot is that in one police station after another across the capital city, the problem of pending case diaries has assumed serious proportions.
So much so that around a month back, Guwahati Police Commissioner Mukesh Agarwala had to issue an order for filing cases against investigating officers who have failed to complete case diaries. Now police stations are carrying out the directive, but the numbers tell their own tale.
Consider this, in Dispur police station itself, a case has been lodged against as many as 60 investigating officers who have left case diaries incomplete. Some other thas have also gotten around lodging cases against laggard investigating officers — in Basistha PS, case has been lodged against 43 officers, in Paltanbazar PS against 42, Geetagar PS against 15, Noonmati PS against 14, Hatigaon PS against 13, Azara PS against 11, Gorchuk PS against 8, Saatgaon PS against 7, and against one officer in Latashil PS. The Fatashil-Ambari tha was slated to file such a case today, informed its Officer-in-charge.
When it comes to the number of pending case diaries, Paltanbazar PS has seen it pile up to 840 already. Then there is Saatgaon PS with 215, Geetagar PS with 68 and Azara PS with 50 case diaries still incomplete.
The importance of complete case diaries needs hardly be overstated. Under Section 172 of CrPC, every police officer conducting investigation shall maintain a day by day record of investigation in a case diary in the prescribed form. It shall contain details of the time at which the information reached the Investigating Officer, time at which the investigation began and was closed, the place or places visited by him and a statement of the facts and circumstances ascertained through investigation.
Case diaries are thus an important record of investigation. Any court may send for the case diaries of a case under inquiry or trial in that court — not as evidence in the case, but to aid it in such inquiry or trial. So case diaries kept incomplete means that the trial process is hamstrung, which in turn leads to more agony for victims of crime incidents.
However, city police insiders have pointed out the absolute chaos in tha after tha, with cops overburdened with law and order duties having little time or energy left for investigation work. Add to that VIP security duties and frequent transfers, and the sorry picture is complete. Once a police officer investigating a case is transferred to another station, the compilation of case diary comes to a dead stop there and then.
Guwahati may have become a police commissionerate on New Year’s day last year, but its police stations are yet to get separate and fully functiol crime investigation wings. Till that happens, and the manpower position improves, the problem of case diaries will keep worsening in city thas.