Investigative agencies are not inclined to paper work. Procedure is followed mostly in violation. This was proved yet again when the Maharashtra ATS served illegal summons to Taquee Ahmed, brother of Ahmed, whom the ATS alleges is involved in the 13/7 Mumbai blasts. Recall that the Maharashtra ATS had first landed in Delhi to question—or rather take Taquee for questioning to Mumbai on 18thJanuary 2012. The presence of vigilant civil rights group and media tamed the ATS and they promised to serve proper summons. But the summons they served tell a story of appalling lack of procedure—either the ATS can’t be bothered to follow law or they are simply ignorant of it. The first notice stated that Taquee was being summoned in the connection with the case being investigated by the ATS vide CR No. 28/2010. The notice was dated 21. 01.2012.
Today (ie., 13.02.2012), the ATS again appeared in Delhi to serve “summons under the provision of section 160 Cr.PC”. Notice the discrepancies in this summon: It referred to the first summons as dated 23/01/2012 and the ATS CR No. 28/2011. Perhaps these were typos. But then it claimed to have sent another summons on 27.01.2012, which never reached Taquee. But most interestingly of all, it threatened legal proceedings under Sec 160 of the CrPC if Taquee failed to appear before the ATS within three days.
If only the ATS had read the CrPc a little closely.
“160. Police officers power to require attendance of witnesses.-
(1) Any police officer making an investigation under this Chapter may, by order in writing, require the attendance before himself of any person being within the limits of his own or any adjoining station who, from the information given or otherwise, appears to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case; and such person shall attend as so required.”
Since when did Jamia Nagar come within the limits of ATS’ station? Maybe the ATS is not used to serving summons or following procedure in the course of investigation. No wonder that alongside these spurious summons, the ATS doesn’t shy away from issuing threats to Taquee’s relatives in Mumbai that they would implicate him in some false case.
The ATS would be better served by organizing legal literacy classes than press conferences.
Released by JTSA on 13th February 2012.