Mumbai: Expressing concern over a large number of accused absconding during the pendency of trials, the Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra government to inform what steps it was planning to take to trace 9207 such missing persons.
In another development, the bench of Justices P V Hardas and P N Deshmukh on Tuesday appointed lawyer J Shekhar as an amicus curiae (friend of the court).
The court was hearing a suo motu (on its own) PIL alleging inaction on the part of government in tracing the absconding accused.
The state government informed that while 863 out of 9207 absconding accused had been traced in Mumbai alone, 2632 accused had been re-arrested elsewhere in the state.
Additional government pleader Hitendra Dedhia said for the first time the government had decided to collect personal details of every accused such as ration card, Aadhar card, passport, voter Identity card, finger prints, bank accounts and employment details.
If an accused absconded, steps were taken to trace him with the help of details mentioned in his file, besides publishing his photograph in local newspapers, he said.
The state had also appointed nodal officers to trace absconding accused. These officers reported to Additional Commissioners of Police in Mumbai and to special inspector general of police in other parts of the state.
All police stations in Maharashtra had been asked to collect personal details of all the accused, Dedhia told the court.
The amicus curiae has been asked to verify whether the government was implementing the orders of the High Court.
The matter has been posted for further hearing after the Diwali vacations.