Jaleel Andrabi Murder Case: Court seeks personal appearance of IGP Crime

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By: D A Rashid
Srinagar, Dec 22: Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar has directed Inspector General of Police (Crime Branch) to furnish a detailed extradition report of Major Avtar Singh accused of killing noted human rights activist and lawyer Jaleel Andrabi, failing which he has to appear in person on the next date of hearing.
“In case of failure, IGP Crime who has been appointed as nodal officer by the court to pursue the extradition of prime accused shall have to cause personal appearance,” says the order passed by CJM, Rajeev Gupta.
“These directions need to be followed in letter and spirit and every effort is to be made by the IGP Crime, the nodal officer, to make the attendance of the accused possible in this court”, the order said.
The court said the copy of the latest order along with the copy of order dated May 30, 2011 be furnished to Director General of Police, Secretary to Government Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Secretary to Government Union Ministry of External affairs, Secretary to Government Department of Law and Justice, J&K Government directing them to do what is required by the law to be done for the extradition of the accused namely Major Avtar Singh, who is reportedly residing in California, USA.
“IGP Crime shall get the copies of the order to be furnished to the concerned and IGP Crime is directed to see to it that all functionaries are provided with all information requisite for extradition of the accused”, the order said.
The court held; “IGP Crime shall get the detailed report regarding the steps taken by all the concerned for securing the attendance of the accused in the court through an authorized senior official, failing which IGP shall have to cause his personal appearance on the next date of hearing which has been fixed on February 6, 2012.”
The court pronounced the order which was earlier reserved after the counsels for complainant, Advocates Arshad Andrabi, Hafizullah Mir and Bashir Siddiqi pleaded before the court that the government was very dilatory in implementing the court orders to punish the culpable.
The court observed that time and again positive directions have been given to the concerned authorities to make the presence of the accused available to face the legal course.
“Lately, the court issued red corner notice to procure the attendance of the accused (Major Avtar Singh) in this court, however, accused had changed his address and is now stated to be residing at California in USA”, the CJM observed.
The court while referring to orders dated May 30, 2011 wherein concerned authorities including Ministry of External affairs GoI, were directed to make appropriate efforts to extradite Major Avtar from California for facing trail, the court observed that “despite all these directions and orders of this court, attendance of the accused has not been made available by the concerned agencies”.
The court held that the report vis-a-vis the efforts made by the concerned for attendance of the accused in the court has not been submitted.
Major Avtar of 35 Rashtriya Rifles is accused of kidnapping Jaleel Andrabi, on March 8, 1996 near Barzulla Srinagar when he was driving home with his wife. The mutilated and tortured body of Andrabi was fished out from river Jhelum near Kursu Rajbaghon March 27, 1996.
A murder case was registered against Major Avtar Singh and others following the High Court directions and the case is now pending before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar.

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