CHENNAI: Taking a serious note of policemen conducting ‘katta panchayats’ (kangaroo courts) between the parties in cases registered under Sec. 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act (cheque bounce cases) at police stations, after issuing of non-bailable warrants, the Madras High Court on Friday directed the Director-General of Police (DGP) to take appropriate action against the policemen concerned.
Taking a Suo-Motu cognizance of the practice under Sec. 482 CrPC, Justice CT Selvam gave the order.
The judge said that time and again, the court noticed that on the issue of non-bailable warrants by courts dealing with cases under the NI Act, the police, on securing the person/accused against whom the warrant is issued and the complainant, held ‘katta panchayats’ at the police station.
Brazenly, the settlement/arrangements made between the parties are recorded and thereafter, the accused in the case is allowed to walk away.
On the one hand, the complainant in such a case obtains an admission/undertaking for repayment through the police and on the other, the dignity of the court is undermined by a person apprehended pursuant to a non-bailable warrant issued by it not being produced before it.
The position raised issues of serious concern and it would be proper to require the DGP to issue instructions to avoid such wrong doings, the judge said and directed the Registry to forward a copy of the order to the DGP for appropriate action.