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Fake witnesses for Real justice!

 

When truth fails to beget justice, thereís no option but to concur with Lord Krishnaís wisdom, Ďwhen lying induces justice, itís no longer a siní. You may have heard of policemen conjuring phony witnesses in court to conclude a case. But few are aware of the righteous principle behind the same, informs Rajinder Malik (name changed), a police official with the Uttar Pradesh police
ANIL PANDEY & YEFU DANIEL CHEN | Issue Dated: April 1, 2007
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Fake witnesses for Real justice! ďPeople wouldnít be exaggerating when they say that policemen are untrustworthy and specialise in wrongdoings, fake encounters, fake cases or even setting people up through bogus cases by producing phony witnesses. I agree that weíre guilty of all that we are accused of. However, not everything is unreal and intentions arenít always evil. Fake encounters and court cases arenít always as portrayed in the media. Allow me to illustrate our plight with an example. Our laws (Ref: Indian Evidence Act 1872/ CrPC 100) impose the need to introduce fake witnesses in order to effectively convict the culprits. When we plan to raid, letís say, a drug-den, based on a tip-off, we are to sign an affidavit with signatures of two witnesses, stating that they have frisked the policemen and have recovered no pre-planted drugs and vice-versa. The last part is actually infeasible. It is almost impossible to ensure that witnesses are present while the raid is conducted right up till when arrests are made! Letís imagine that we get information about a car transporting drugs. Now, the law demands evidence, and if we waste time gathering witnesses and wrapping up paperwork, the drug laden car isnít exactly waiting for us, you know. If we donít act immediately, it will travel beyond our jurisdiction. And even if we manage to nab them, without an eyewitness, the court simply releases them, due to lack of evidence. Policemen who risk their lives to apprehend criminals suffer acute embarrassment when they see offenders set free by courts due to lack of evidence. They then become so arrogant that they mock us by looking us in the eye and we canít do a thing. This causes depression! Thus, in cases like these we pursue our raids and arrests before sorting the red tape. Every station maintains a classified file with names of phony witnesses who are covertly on the local policeís payroll. Thereís an unwritten mutual understanding between these witnesses and the police. Usually people around the station like fruit sellers, tea stall owners etc. double up as (fake) witnesses and we ensure their wellbeing.

Hereís another incident where without a phony eyewitness the culprit would be scot-free. Recently, near a forest not too far from our station, a drunk truck driver rammed into a car, killing all occupants on the spot. The trucker escaped. We arrested him later after some investigation but as there were no eyewitnesses in that jungle, he was to be set free. We threw in a phony witness and got him convicted. Even the judges are aware of this. Some judges are so experienced that they instantly figure out if a convict is guilty or not. Once, an honourable judge deciphered that the accused was guilty but may slip away due to lack of evidence. He called me in his chamber after the session and said that Ďthis criminal needs to be behind barsí and I understood. The next hearing saw two (fake) witnesses that facilitated a vigorous imprisonment for the offender. Had he been freed, there wouldíve been more crimes and thus to uphold the law, we policemen have to walk on this path. I canít say every phony witness is put to good use but I do and Iím not alone!!Ē
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017