Srinagar: Government on Friday formed a state- level supervisory committee to suggest measures to ensure convicted persons are put behind bars.
With Administrative secretary Home Department as its chairman, the panel has been formed in compliance to the directions by Supreme Court of India in July last year to the Chief Secretaries of all the states and the union territories.
The members of panel include Director General of Police, Administrative Secretary, Department of Law Justices and parliamentary Affairs, and Secretary State Legal Service Authority.
The panel, according to a government order, has been tasked to monitor and review, on six monthly basis, the criminal cases in which the convicts, despite having been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment by the courts, remain at large either on account of non-execution of the warrants by the executing agencies or do not surrender after their final appeals are disposed of.
“(It will) suggest measures to ensure that those convicted are apprehended and sent behind the bars to serve out the sentence.”
The panel has also been asked to submit a biannual status report to the Executive Chairman of the State Legal Service Authority to take further necessary action as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
The apex court has directed that the Executive Chairman SLSA, in consultation with the Patronage Chief of the State Legal Service Authority, take action in the matter as is considered fit including taking it up on the judicial side.
The apex court has made it clear that the constitution of the State level committee was in addition and not in substitution of any existing mechanism at the district level.
The Supreme Court had passed the orders while disposing of a criminal appeal in case titled Lallan Singh and others Vs State of Uttar Pradesh.
As many as six persons were convicted by the trial court for a double-murder and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life.
Five of them filed appeals against their conviction and sentence. Three of them had surrendered while two others identified Awadesh Kumar Singh and Sawaroo failed to do so. Subsequently, the Supreme Court dismissed the special leave petitions of duo who did surrender and issued notice with regard to the remaining three convicts.
On July 18, 2012 when the matter came up before the apex Court, UP’s counsel was asked whether the absconding convicts surrendered to custody. He was however unable to make any statement but later filed an affidavit, stating that the duo continued to remain at large.
While upholding the conviction of three of the convicts, one of them identified as Lallan Singh, the court noticed that the steps taken by the authorities to apprehend the absconding convicts were poor.
The court found that no details were given as to steps taken over the past six years or so for apprehending the two convicts whose conviction for a double murder had been upheld by it with the dismissal of the their appeals.
Subsequently, the apex court directed an inquiry by the trial court into the circumstances in which the convicts continued to remain at large and fix responsibility of the authorities. The trial court was directed to submit a report within six months.