Vavuniya Judge calls for prompt police action to prevent crime
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 July 2003, 21:26 GMT]
The Vavuniya District Judge, Mr.M. Ilanchelian, in a meeting he convened, has advised the heads of several police divisions in Vavuniya, that the police should conduct prompt and impartial inquiries based on the constitutional principle that everyone is equal before the Law and everyone is entitled to equal protection, that the police should never allow any kind of political interference in cases, and that if he received any complaints about police misconduct, he would deal with the police sternly, sources said.
The heads of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the division responsible for Minor girls, the Fraud Prevention Unit, the Crime Branch, the Special Crimes Branch, the Misdemeanor branch and the Traffic monitoring division participated in the meeting, sources said.
The Judge told the officers that, while there are many problems even during the ceasefire in the Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Jaffna districts, the Vavuniya district has no such problems, and the police should make every effort to prevent crimes in Vavuniya. He also advised that all complaints from the public should be taken seriously and action taken and a report submitted to the court, the sources said.
The Judge further advised the police that they should pay proper attention to Human Rights, the penal code procedures and bail procedures.
In particular, according to articles 37 and 38 of the penal code, the Judge said that the police should provide reports to the judge within 24 hours, and should produce suspects within 24 hours. If suspects are unable to be arrested on any complaints, a report on that should also be submitted to the court, he advised the police.
“The Police should not forget,” the Judge said, “that they have the responsibility to promptly inform the court of all crimes in the areas under the jurisdiction of the court. If complaints to the minor crimes division can be solved through a mediation council, action should be taken to do so. However, as there is no such mediation council, the police should seek the court’s intervention even for such minor cases and suspects in such cases should be produced in court.”
According to sections 78 and 79 of the penal code, a Judge has the authority to issue an oral warrant to search and produce suspects. However, the Judge said, “such a situation need not arise in the Vavuniya district." The public continues to report of cases directly to the courts, he said. "The police should not attempt to use the law to cover up matters and should be vigilant.”
The Judge said that the police division in charge of anti-social activities such as Kasippu, Hashish and Opium manufacture has been providing excellent service. However, some weaknesses have come to the attention of the court through evidence presented at the court. Whenever the evidence in a case is collected, the Judge said, “The police should also arrest the owner of the place or the house where such evidence is obtained and produce him/her in court.”