Committed to PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO KNOW
Vol. 5 Num 1046 Sat. May 12, 2007  
   
Front Page


Dumped for Years Under Open Sky
Evidential materials worth crores of taka decaying


Evidential materials worth crores of taka seized by police in connection with various cases and kept under supervision of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's (CMM) Court, Dhaka, are getting damaged causing huge losses to the government as well as their owners.

One can always find around 60 motorbikes along with some cars on one side and a number of other vehicles on another side of the premises of the CMM's Court in old part of the capital.

Dumped there for years under the open sky, many of these vehicles including CNG-run autorickshaws, taxicabs, pick-ups, rickshaw vans and rickshaws not only got rusted but also became dysfunctional and lost their worth. Many more vehicles are gathering dust at an underground space there.

Moreover, thousands of other things stockpiled there include television, computer, radio and cassette player, and even lethal weapons, wine, phensidyl etc.

And all these are evidential materials of cases accumulated over the years. Damage to those might also result in release of the accused, sources in the CMM's Court said.

"As per the law, we cannot remove seized materials unless cases are disposed of," said a policeman taking care of the things.

Disposal of many cases takes five to 10 years and sometimes even more, but by that time seized goods mostly get useless as those cannot be kept properly for shortage of space.

Court can confiscate seized materials if their owners are not found or if they lose the cases. If the accused win the cases, the materials are given to them, he mentioned.

A sub-inspector, who was on duty there, said, "As many of the valuable things are under the open sky for years, those are becoming of no use and losing their worth. As a result, both the government and owners of the materials are suffering losses."

Many of the things could not be removed although cases concerning these were disposed of a few years ago, he added.

Explaining this, another sub-inspector said, "This happens as sometimes court does not give clear instructions on what to do with the evidential materials."

Four stores for the four zones of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) lack adequate capacity to accommodate such materials, he said.

Some poilce officials suggested formulation of a policy for sale of seized goods and depositing the money in the treasury at the early stages of cases that would take a long time for disposal. The money would then go either to their owners or the government as per court verdicts in the cases, they said seeking anonymity.

Picture
Cars and motorbikes, seized in connection with various cases, are dumped for years under the open sky on the premises of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka, allowing them to get rusted and destroyed. PHOTO: STAR