Terror suspects go scot-free
We are shocked, as would every responsible citizen of this country would be, to learn that a large number of terror suspects are going scot free because of loopholes in case filing. Law requires the police to get the district magistrate's approval before investigating and filing any case under the Anti-Terrorism Act. But sadly, it has been observed that a large number of police officers have been oblivious of such requirements. To make matters even more grievous, some of the witnesses amongst police did not make themselves available before the court despite repeated summonses. As a result, twenty accused of terrorism in as many as five cases have so far been freed, the release of 151 more due to such lapse is in the offing.
This points to a serious systematic flaw, that might render the government's anti-terror efforts meaningless. What is the point, after all, of arresting terror suspects if they cannot be brought to book due to procedural flaws? On one hand the government talks of zero tolerance for terrorists and terrorism while on the other hand procedural loopholes allow these people to evade trial.
The problem is manifold in nature. There is a strong rationale to look into the legal flaws which have been exploited. The law enforcers, especially those involved in the investigative process, should be well versed in the Anti-Terror Act and its clauses. Incidents of deliberately weakening terror cases by creating loopholes in the probe process with ulterior motives also need to be looked into. A high-level body should be formed consisting of officials empowered to devise the means to plug both the legal and systematic loopholes. The relevant parliamentary Standing Committee should take a serious note of this matter as should the PMO.