Conviction on fast track

Patna, June 17: Bihar has surpassed all other states in terms of conviction. Over 61,000 criminals, including politicians, have been convicted and punished in the state in the past five-and-a-half years, courtesy speedy trials.

“The high rate of conviction owing to the fast-track courts functioning since January 2006 has resulted in a sharp decline in organised crimes like kidnapping for ransom, extortion, robbery and contract killing,” director-general of police (DGP) Neel Mani said. For the first time in the state, over 12 MPs and state legislators have been convicted and punished, he said. According to a report compiled by the state police headquarters, total 61,810 persons were convicted in the state between January 2006 and May 2011.

Total 5,654 persons were convicted between January and May 2011, the DGP said. Of them, one person was awarded capital punishment, 752 got life terms and 239 persons were sentenced to imprisonment above 10 years.

Total 14,311 persons were convicted in 2010, followed by 13,146 in 2009, 12,009 in 2008, 9,853 in 2007 and 6,839 in 2006. The high rate of conviction was possible because of speedy trial of the cases, the DGP said.

“In the past, the rate of conviction was very low — only about 3,000-8,000 a decade. But the speedy trials conducted in almost all pending criminal cases by different courts, including fast-track courts and special courts, made a huge difference,” he said.

Neel Mani said the conviction of so many criminals in such a short span of time is a big achievement and a model for other states to follow. The masses lauded the speedy trial of criminals, said the officer.

Police officers here claimed that Bihar had surpassed other states in awarding the death sentence to the maximum number of people in a little over five years.

The chief minister has time and again told the people that criminals now feared disturbing law and order in the state because of his “political determination to prosecute them through speedy trials”. He said the high rate of convictions had instilled a sense of fear in the minds of criminals.

Bihar’s known politician convicts include former MPs Pappu Yadav and Mohammad Shahabuddin of the RJD, Surajbhan Singh of the LJP, Anand Mohan of the JD (U) and his wife Lovely Anand. Mohan was sentenced to death by a local court and his wife was given life sentence in the murder of then Gopalganj district magistrate G. Krishnaiah in 1994.

For the first time, the convicts has outnumbered the undertrials in jails. About 36,000 prisoners are lodged in the 55 jails, which together can accommodate 30,000 prisoners.

Source: The Telegraph

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