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HC seeks explanation from TN govt over closure of 2.15 lakh FIRs

HC seeks explanation from TN govt over closure of 2.15 lakh FIRs
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The Madras High Court Friday sought an explanation from the Tamil Nadu government and the police chief over the closure of 2.15 lakh FIRs by lower courts in the state between 2009 and 2014 owing to non-filing of charge sheets within the statutory time limit.

After going through details provided by the court registry on the closure of FIRs, Justice M V Muralidharan came down heavily on the police as well as the magistrate courts for their attitude and impleaded the state home secretary and the director general of police. Directing them to file an explanation, the judge adjourned the matter to January 25 for further hearing.

The registry filed the information about the closure of FIRs on a direction from the judge on December 18. During the hearing of a civil appeal in an accident case, he learnt that the judicial magistrate of Avinashi in Tirupur district had closed 87 FIRs in a single order for non-filing of charge sheets by police within the stipulated period.

Taking a serious note of it, Justice Muralidharan had directed the high court registry to call for particulars of such closures made by the magistrates throughout the state. The registry in its report said a total of 2,14,901 FIRs were closed in 33 judicial districts, including neighbouring Puducherry, in the five-year period from 2009 for non-filing of charge sheets.

The judge directed Public Prosecutor A Natarajan and Additional Advocate General P H Aravindh Pandian to personally inquire into all the 87 cases that were closed in Avinashi by calling for explanation from the police concerned. As per the registry's report, Kancheepuram topped the list with 28,573 closed FIRs followed by Madurai 26,351, Cuddalore 14,310 and Chennai 13,836 FIRs.

The judge said though the Criminal Procedure Code empowered the magistrates to close FIRs, they cannot dispose of such large numbers of cases without trying to find out the reason for non-filing of the charge sheets within the statutory period, which was 60 or 90 days depending on the classification of the offences.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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