Silly FIRs make CAG angry

Chennai, June 19: The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India has criticised the Tamil Nadu police for filing first information reports in which articles were absurdly valued. In its 2005-06 report, the CAG noted that numerous incorrect details had been provided by the police. Some FIRs were downright incredible. Like the one in which the Kallikudi police in Madurai district filed an FIR about the loss of a Boeing 747 aircraft valued at Rs 1,600.

When contacted, Mr Anbu, the Madurai (rural) superintendent of police, said he was surprised to hear about the report and that he was not aware of any such incident. Officials at the Kallikudi police station were also astonished to hear about it. In a lighter vein they said that since no plane goes through their airspace, hence there was no chance of a plane getting lost in the area.

The CAG had also pointed to another case in which a bicycle was valued at Rs 91,943, a moped estimated at over Rs 90 lakhs and a motorcycle valued at Rs 11.10 lakhs. “Capture of information like type of automobile, registration number, make, chassis number, engine number and status of vehicles involved in crimes was made mandatory. Out of 67,672 such instances, the engine number was blank in 12,914 cases. Similarly, the chassis number was blank in 7,288 cases and irrelevant information was provided in 8,292 cases.

The registration numbers were blank in 1,461 cases and had unrelated information in 1,071 cases. There were also 1,434 cases where all three crucial items of information were either blank or contained irrelevant information,” the CAG has said. Criticising the Tamil Nadu home department for faulty implementation of schemes, the CAG has stated that the Crime Analysis and Automated Record Updating System (CAARUS) was introduced in 2001, a clear five years after the implementation of the Crime and Criminal Information System (CCIS), without taking cognisance of the ongoing scheme. CAARUS encompassed all the information captured in CCIS, resulting in duplication.

Details of all FIRs filed and all related information were to be captured once in the police stations for CAARUS, and again in district crime records bureaux for CCIS. No interface was established between the schemes to share information. Keying in vast data twice resulted in appreciable wastage of manpower and also increased the probability of data inconsistency.

About the nonexistence of provisions for storage of vital information on criminals, the CAG has noted that CCIS had provisions to store information on criminals, such as their build, height, complexion, identification marks, deformities/peculiarities, teeth, hair, eyes, habit, etc. But no provision was made to store their photographs or fingerprints, which were more precise means of identification, though such information was available with the police stations in most cases.

FIRs and chargesheets were filed based on one or more sections of the several penal codes in force. Such information that is instrumental in classification of crimes was codified in CCIS. Analysis revealed incorrect storage of acts/sections against crimes, the CAG said. In the records, there was duplication in codification of acts and the same section of an act was codified in many different ways.

For example, while Section 41 under CrPC has only 10 different sub-sections, 150 different sub-sections were codified under it. This resulted in 9.16 lakh FIRs containing incorrect entries. The error level was as high as 17 per cent.The data on investigating officials, too, was incomplete. Codes were allotted for only 5,654 officials as against the actual 88,000 strength of the department. Codes for the remaining officers were entered in an arbitrary manner, such incorrect coding being noticed in as many as 87,063 FIRs. The omission rate on investigating officers was estimated at around 38 per cent.

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