The Border district Rajouri, of Jammu and Kashmir state has turned drug heaven, even the drug paddlers have opened their wings in small town of the district.
District Magistrate, Rajouri, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary on Saturday directed all the Executive Magistrates to step up vigil in their respective areas against drug peddlers and initiate legal action.
The instructions were issued after suo motto enquiry conducted by the District Magistrate into the release order of two detunes issued by an Executive Magistrate in Thanamandi. The enquiry revealed serious procedural lapses and misuse of official powers. A departmental enquiry is being recommended in the matter after immediate legal remedial action.
The District Magistrate perused the record of SHO Thanamandi including police complaint after investigation, order issued by the Executive Magistrate, proceedings, bail order, application on behalf of accused, bonds and sureties. Naib Tehsildar Thanamandi Mohd Farooq Rather, based on police complaint and report, issued detention order against four people namely Raj Kumar, Sourabh Kumar, Saddam Hussain and Zafar Iqbal.
The police report mentioned in detail about their involvement in sale and purchase of narcotics and psychotropic substances including minors and frequent indulgence in scuffles and threatening which led to disturbing peace and public tranquillity. However, three days after detention Raj Kumar and Sourabh Kumar were released by an order of Tehsildar Thanamandi.
The order was examined and some legal aspects ascertained from Tehsildar Thanamandi who upon enquiry refused to have made any such order notwithstanding the fact that release order bearing his official seal was forwarded to District Jail Superintendent for securing their release.
Accordingly suo motto enquiry was initiated by District Magistrate. In response to communication from DM the Superintendent informed that the detenees were released on 27thOctober 2017 based on order of Tehsildar Thanamandi after comparing seal and signature. Thereafter the case record was summoned from the Court of EX-I and it was found that the order has been issued by the Naib Tehsildar at his own without even mentioning his name or using his own stamp.
The scrutiny of records further revealed a number of lapses on the part of the Executive Magistrate prompting action against him under Criminal Procedure Code. It was found that detention order has been issued under seal of Tehsildar Thanamandi and likewise the release order 3 days later without following the due procedure established under law.
The Executive Magistrate having knowledge of the grave seriousness of the case did not conduct any Inquiry under Section 116 CrPC before passing order for discharge of persons under Section 118 and even without seeking any report from Police to substantiate the bail application moved by parents of the accused.
Thereafter, the District Magistrate has directed under Section 23 (2) CrPC that Naib Tehsildar Thanamandi henceforth shall deal with only land revenue cases involving condition laid down in Section 107 among other and shall not deal with any such sensitive matter till departmental enquiry is completed. Meanwhile, the District Magistrate acting under Section 34 (2) CrPC has withdrawn the power conferred by him upon the said Executive Magistrate.
Meanwhile Dr Abdul Khabir, DSWO and Naveed Iqbal Dy Director FPF already vested with powers of Executive Magistrates have been assigned the jurisdiction of Thanamnadi Sub-Division for all cases related to drug abuse and disturbance of public order, while Police have been asked to approach the officers accordingly apart from SDM Thanamandi and Tehsildar Thanamandi. ACD Noor Alam and CPO Abdul Hamid will be EM for cases related to Manjakote in addition to Tehsildar Manjakote.
Meanwhile, all the Executive Magistrates have been directed to act under Section 44 CrPC for arrest of persons involved in drug menace indulging in offences and leading to disturbance of peace and public tranquillity in their respective jurisdictions.
Pertinently after joint meeting of Executive Magistrates and Police Officers concerned, more than 50 such persons have been detained. Further, the DM has directed the Police to initiate fresh legal action against the detenues wrongly released in the instant case.
The District Magistrate lauding the commendable action by Police in the matter asked the Magistrates for continuing stringent legal action against the drug peddlers.