Mainpuri

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CHAPTER- 12

Law and order and justice 

Law and order

      It has already been traced that the present district of Mainpuri formed part of the empires of the Mauryas and the Guptas and of Harshavardhan. They had made the inhabitants collectively responsible for the maintenance of peace and prevention of crime in their localities. with the growth of feudal institutions, the responsibility for maintaining peace devoted on the landlords, though the the institution of rakshaks was retained . During the Muslim rule, kotwals were appointed in the towns and were paid a monthly allowance to meet the expenses on their staff of chowkidars and peons.

     In the 16th century it was the duty of the jaujdar to maintain peace, keep the roads free from robbers and enforce imperial regulations. To assist him thanadars were appointed, Due to frequent incursion of the Marathas and Rohillas in the eighteenth century, this district remained in a state of prolonged disorder . Taking advantage of the fluid state, a number of tribes, namely, Haburas, Sansiyas, Khangars, Nuts, and Kanjars inhabiting this tract indulged in criminal and other anti-social activities . Female infanticide was prevalent in the district in early times. Public opinion was mobilized against this serious crime and a special police force was employed to keep a close watch on villages where the crime was suspected to be highest in incidence.

     The British acquired the tract covered by this district in 1801 and raised a police force for maintaining law and order. Escorts and guards were drawn from the army, special patrols were deployed for road and river traffic and a small force for detection of crimes was kept at the police -stations. In the beginning police duties were performed by revenue officials with the magistrate and collector acting as chief of the district police force. The tahsildars supervised police work in the tahsils and had a number of thanas placed under their jurisdiction. The combination of judicial, police and administrative functions in the magistrate and collector made him heavily overworked . The tahsildars paid more attention to revenue work and neglected their police duties. The duties of maintaining watch and ward were performed by the village watchmen who were employees of the land holders. they failed to exercise proper vigil and chaos and confusion ensued in the countryside .

      The years following the freedom struggle of 1857 brought to the fore numerous administrative problems and it became imperative to organise the police on a regular basis. The government felt that the responsibility for policing the country must devolve upon the provincial administration and that  it was necessary to maintain a paid force for this purpose. In 1860 , a committee, was appointed to deliberate upon this matter and its recommendations led to the promulgation of the Police Act  (Act 5 of 1861) still in operation with minor modifications. The Act has introduced an uniform police system. In the district a superintendent of police was appointed to act as head of the district police force. The district was divided into a number of police circles, which were further subdivided into Thanas (police stations), each under the charge of a subinspector .

                                         ORGANISATION OF POLICE

   In 1906, the district was divided in to 12 police circles with police stations at Mainpuri, Ghiror and Kuraoli in the Mainpuri tahsil, at Bhongaon, Bewar and Kishni in the Bhongaon tahsil, at Kurra and Karhal in the Karhal tahsil, at Shikohabad and Sirsaganj in the Shikohabad tahsil; and at Mustafabad and Eka in  the Mustafabad tahsil, These circles were  redistributed, a new one being created at Mustafabad, while the four at Barnahal, Auncha, Pharha and Jasrana were abolished. There were police out-posts at pharha, Auncha,Barnahal (to be transferred to Narangi Bah) and punchha, the two last being on the Yamuna. The district is included in the northern range, and is under the charge of a superintendent of police with [[headquarters at Mainpuri. The district police is divided into two broad divisions, the civil police and armed police .

Civil Police - for effective control the district is divided in four [circles each placed under the charge of a circle officer.

    The following statement gives the names of police circles , and of police -stations and police out-posts under them.

Police Circles Police Station Police Out-Post
Mainpuri Kuraoli, Kurra, Karhal, Kotwali Ganeshpur, Agra gate, Devi gate, Railway gate, Karhal gate, Kuraoli, Karhal
Bhongaon Bhongaon, Bewar, Kishni, Alau Bhongaon, Kusmara, Mannukhera
Jasrana Jasrana, Eka, Phariha, Ghiror, Aunchha Parham
Shikohabad Shikohabad, Sirsaganj, Nagla Khangar, Barnahal, Khairgarh Shikohabad, Rapri, Samuha, Makhanpur, Sirsaganj, Atteypur

Armed Police- The armed police unit of the district has its headquarters at the reserve police lines. The services of the armed police are utilised in escorting prisoners, guarding government property and treasuries, patrolling and combating dacoits, .

Prosecution Staff- The prosecution staff, which is not a part of the police force, works under the control of the district magistrate and comprises a public prosecutor and eight assistants . The public prosecutor and his assistants. conduct  criminal cases in the courts of magistrates.

Village police - The institution of village chowkidars came into vegue after the introduction of the North-western provinces .Villages and Road Police Act. 1873 when the district magistrate was made the appointing and dismissing authority of the village chowkidars. The village chowkidars are attached to the police-stations and are paid by the government. Their main duty is to report to the local police , the occurrence of important crimes, and other incidents in their areas. They also act as process-servers of the nyaya panchayats for which they get a small remuneration. The number of chowkidars was 753 in the district in 1975

Village defence Societies - The regular police force in the district, as elsewhere, is quite inadequate to give full protection to the large number of villages in the charge of each police-station. Village defence societies have, therefore, been set up in villages throughout the district to provide ready protection against crime locally. Their members perform duties like night patrolling and apprehending lawless and anti-social elements themselves or with the assistance of police.

Government Railway police- The Government railway police is a separate branch of the State police, entrusted with police duties at stations in the railway tracks. The Mainpuri district falls in the Agra division of the government railway police. There are two out-posts in the district, one at Mainpuri and the other at Shikohabad. Both the out-posts come under the police-station of this branch of the police at Tundla .

                                DISTRICT JAIL AND LOCK_UPS

District jail - The institution of the jail , as it exists today , is of British origin and an integral part of the judicial system introduced by them. The exact date of the construction of the jail building in the district does not appear to be known. The earliest records available date it since before  1850.

    The Mainpuri district jail is of the first class but has a bad reputation for the prevalence of dysentery . It is now under the charge of a superintendent. He is assisted by a jailer, a deputy jailer, and three a[ssistant jailers. For medical aid required to be given to prisoners, a me[[medical officer and a compounder are also posted there .

    The district jail has the capacity to accommodate 427 convicts and under -trials .Its population figures from 1970 to 1974 are tabled below: 

Year Daily Average Population
Convicts Under-trials prisoners
1970 103 333
1971 109 349
1972 92 351
1973 109 362
1974 96 486

    Handloom is their principal industry employing gainfully the inmates of the jail. The products consist of durries, bedsheets, towels , dusters and dusooti (a variety of cotton cloth) . The prisoners are also put to work on the agricultural farm and the jail garden .

Welfare of Prisoners - There are two classes of prisoners, superior and ordinary. The superior class is assigned to prisoners by the district magistrate in deserving cases . Many amenities have been provided to the prisoners in recent years such as listening in to radio broadcasts and reading of newspapers , books and periodicals .They are allowed facilities for recreation such as taking part in indoor and outdoor games, dramatic and musical performances and religious discourses . They are given due medical treatment and training in crafts is also imparted to them. All the prisoners are provided with two wholesome meals a day. They are given special diet on festive occasions. Sick or unhealthy prisoners are given such diet as may be prescribed  by the medical officer. All the prisoners are given bedding . Undertrials and civil prisoners, who are unable to arrange for themselves sufficient clothing are provided with garments as may be necessary.Bathing and washing platforms are provided. All reasonable facilities are given to the prisoners for for communicating with their friends , relatives and legal advisors. All prisoners, under 50 years of age and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than three months, are instructed in reading and writing. For their use, there exists a well - equipped library where newspapers are also made available . A panchayat of prisoners also exists of which prisoners themselves elect  members, the panches and a sarpanch to carry on various activities under the supervision of the jail staff. The panchayat looks after the welfare of the inmates of the jail and attends to the com; complaints of the prisoners, and matters connected  with breach of discipline, rules and regulations. A teacher having B.T.C. training has been appointed to educate prisoners and reform them.

Revising Board - For premature release of prisoners , a revising board reviews periodically the cases of all convicts, sentenced to terms of imprisonment of three years or more.

Official Visitors- The ex officio visitors of the jail are the director of medical and health services and family planning , U. P. the commissioner of the division, the district and sessions judge and the district magistrate .

Non- Official Visitors- The appointment of non-official visitors is made by the state Government on the recommendation of the district committee of the Uttar Pradesh Apradh Nirodhak Samiti.

    All local members of Parliament and State legislatures , member of the standing committee of the State legislature on jails, chairman of the central committee of the U.P. Apradh Nirodhak Samiti, the chairman, municipal board, Mainpuri, and the adhyaksh , zila Parishad, are ex officio non-official visitors of the jail.

Probation- There is in the district a probation officer, who makes inquires and submits his recommendations in cases referred to him by the courts in respect of juvenile delinquents or where it is proposed to release a first offender with admonition of on probation of good conduct for a  specified period.

Lock-ups- Lock-ups are provided at the district headquarters and the police-stations, for detaining male and female suspects, before their production in courts. They are mere halting places, well guarded by the police.                                    

                                                       JUSTICE

    In the middle of the last century the Mainpuri judgeship carried on judicial administration of three districts, namely Mainpuri,Etah,and Etawah. Etah parted from this judgeship in the last decade of the last century and the district judge held his court at Mainpuri and Etawah only. This continued upto 1958  when Etawah become a separate judgeship. The district judge, Mainpuri, was thus left with jurisdiction over this district alone. The crimes in the district so multiplied that the district judge could not cope with the work and temporary civil and sessions judges were appointed to assist him.

    The new code of criminal procedure has come into force from 1-4-1974 and since May, 1974, the cadre of civil and sessions judges has been replaced by that of additional district and sessions judges.

    At present the civil judiciary at Mainpuri consists of the courts of a district judge, an additional district judge, an assistant sessions judge, munsifs and an additional munsif .

    The position of civil cases in the year 1973 was as under:

Cases Number of suits
Pending at the beginning of the year 2,614
Instituted during the year 1,891
Disposed of during the year 1,861
Pending at the end of the year 2,644

     In the same year the number of suits involving immovable property was 246, the number of mortgage suits was 1, those concerning matrimony were 12 and those relating to other important classes were 335 .               

    The  number of suits instituted in 1973 according to valuation were an follows:

Valuation Number of suits
Not exceeding Rs 100    68
Exceeding Rs 100 but not Rs 1,000   637
Exceeding Rs 1,000 but not Rs 5,000   209
Exceeding Rs 5,000 but not Rs 10,000     50
Exceeding Rs 10,000 but not Rs 20,000      12
Exceeding Rs 20,000 but not Rs 1 lakh             3

    The total valuation of the property involved in the suits so instituted was Rs  17,23,158.75 .

    Details of the modes of disposal of suits in the year 1973 were as follows:

 

Number of disposal No. of suits
Disposed of after trial    224
Dismissed for default                    356
Otherwise decided without trial     835
Decreed en-parte              264
On admission of claims      9
On compromise      171
On reference to arbitration    2

                The position of appeals instituted and disposed of in the year 1973was as follows :

Nature of appeals

Instituted Disposed of
Regular civil apeals   196 140
Miscellaneous civil apeals     98 90
Regular rent appeals 30 14

    Criminal Justice- In the beginning of the present century there were in the district four magistrates, three of them exercising first class powers  and one with third class powers . At the tahsil level there were five tahsildars , invested with third class magisterial powers. There were also three honorary magistrates exercising Third class criminal powers. They were all subordinate to the district magistrate. The district and sessions judge constitutes the shier criminal  court of the district. In sessions trials, he is assisted by an additional sessions judge and an assistant sessions judge. A chief judicial magistrate, a judicial magistrate, two munsif magistrates and an additional munsif magistrate also try criminal cases and work under him.

                Some information about the disposal of criminal cases between 1971 to 1973 is tabulated below :

Nature of Offence No. of cases tried
1971 1972 1973
Affecting Life 571 523 591
Kidnapping and abduction 73 86 78
Hurt 96 72 107
Rape 26 25 9
Extortion - 2 -
Unnatural Offences - - -
Robbery and Dacoity 534 472 346
Other Cases 31 29 28

                The number of persons tried in the years 1971 , 1972 and 1973 were 5,712 and 4,263 respectively .

                The following statement gives the numbers of persons a warded various forms of punishment :

Punishment Year
1971 1972 1973
Death 5 4 12
Life Imprisonment 41 51 46
Rigorous Imprisonment 704 642 435
Simple Imprisonment 187 56 19
Fine Only 20 11 8

                The state of cognizable offences under Indian Penal code in the years 1971 and 1972 was as follows :

Crimes 1971 1972
Murder
Reported 71 81
Convicted 35 22
Acquitted 25 33
Dacoity
Reported 88 99
Convicted 58 8
Acquitted 12 35
Robbery
Repaired 120 100
Convicted 23 5
Acquitted 12 13
Theft
Repaired 1,000 833
Convicted 304 47
Acquitted 52 42
Riot
Repaired 211 140
Convicted 43 18
Acquitted 39 29
Housebreaking
Repaired 699 649
Convicted 96 21
Acquitted 38 28
Kidnapping
Repaired 62 47
Convicted 16 2
Acquitted 18 9

                  SEPARATION OF JUDICIARY FROM EXECUTIVE

                Partial separation of the judiciary from the executive was tried soon after the attainment of independence by the country though the appointment of judicial officers to dispose of cases involving offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code. These officers had to work under the direct control of the district magistrate, or an additional district magistrate who was himself a member of the executive service. Occasionally a senior judicial officer was made incharge of the team of judicial officers in the district but the overall supervision of the commissioner at the divisional level went a long way in retaining executive authority over the lower judiciary . The experiment regarding serving judiciary from the executive however , reached a decisive stage, when all the judicial officers including the additional district magistrate (judicial) were placed under the direct control of the district and sessions judge of the district within the administrative jurisdiction of the High Court on October 2 , 1967. The subsequent amendment of the code of Criminal Procedure and its enforcement with effect from April 1 , 1974, completed the separation of the judiciary from the executive.                                                       

Nyaya Panchayats

                The panchayat adalats, now called nyaya panchayats, were established in the district in 1949 under the U. P. Panchayat raj Act 1947 , to adjudicate upon petty civil and criminal disputes arising in the rural areas . In 1975 their number was 132.

                The jurisdiction of such nyaya panchayats usually Extends over five to tem gaon sabhas, depending on the population of the constituent villages. Their scope, powers and functions have been defined in the Act referred to above, and revisions against their decisions lie to subdivisional magistrates in criminal cases and to munsifs in civil suits .

                The panchs are nominated by the district magistrate from amongst the elected members of the gaon panchayats. Members of the gaon sabhas may also be nominated as panchs in case the members of gaon panchayats with requisite qualifications are not available.in 1973, there were 132 sarpanchs, 132  sahayak sarpanchs and 2,420 panchs of nyaya panchayats in the district

                The panchs are honorary workers and hole office for a period of 5  years . Their term may be extended by another year by the States Government .  The cases are heard and disposed of by benches consisting of 5 panchs. The

presence of at least three panchs including a sarpanch is essential at every  hearing .

 

                The nyaya panchayats are empowered to try the following cases:

 

                The nyaya panchayats are empowered to try the following cases:

                (a) All cases under the U.P. Panchyat Raj Act, 1947.

                (b) Cases brought under:

Sections 140 269 290 352 403 431 -
  160 277 294 357 411 447 -
  172 283 323 358 426 448 -
  174 285 334 374 428 504 509
  179 289 341 379 430 506 510

               of the Indian penal Code but involving property not exceeding an amount of Rs. 50          

                (c) Sections 24 and 26 of the Cattle Trespass Act, 1871.

                (d) Sub-section 1 of section 10 of the U.P. district Boards Primary

                   Education Act, 1926.

                (e) Sections 3,4,7 and 1 3 of the Public Gambling Act , 1867

                The  nyaya panchayats also have original jurisdiction to try civil  suits up to a valuation of Rs 500 and bring about any settlement of compromise  an oath if the parties concerned agree in writing to such a course. They are  not authorised to award any sentence of imprisonment and can impose fines up  to one hundred rupees only.

                The number of cases instituted before the nyaya panchayats and  disposed of by them during the years 1971 to 1974-75 was as follows:

Year Cases Pending at the beginning of the year Cases instituted during the year Cases disposed of
1971-72 14 240 227
1972-73 27 10 9
1973-74 28 61 40
1974-75 49 586 560

Bar Association

                 There are three registered associations of legal practitioners in the  district viz.,the bar association, civil courts, Mainpuri, the district bar association, Mainpuri; and the bar association, Shikohabad.