Maharashtra: State Govt Issues Guidelines For Cops While Probing Stolen, Seized Jewellery Cases

Maharashtra: State Govt Issues Guidelines For Cops While Probing Stolen, Seized Jewellery Cases

The state government has issued guidelines regarding the establishment of "Vigilance Committee" to resolve the problems of bullion dealers.

Somendra SharmaUpdated: Friday, March 15, 2024, 06:36 PM IST
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Maharashtra: State Govt Issues Guidelines For Cops While Probing Stolen, Seized Jewellery Cases | Representational Image

The state government, through the office of the Director General of Police (DGP) has issued guidelines to be followed by Investigating Officers (IOs) while seizing stolen/suspected property from bullion traders in the state as well as regarding the establishment of "Vigilance Committee" to resolve the problems of bullion dealers.

The guidelines

As per the guidelines, the IOs have been instructed that, "In order to solve the problems of bullion traders, a state level vigilance committee at the level of the Director General of Police office, as well as at each police Commissionerate and district level, a vigilance committee should be established. The State Level Committee would hold a meeting once annually and Police Commissionerate and District Level Committees would hold meetings once every three months."

"After arresting the accused in the crime of theft, the investigating officers should make a detailed inquiry about the stolen goods before the panchas. In the FIR, the description and weight of the stolen jewellery should be recorded in detail. In the register kept by all bullion traders, the police officers should record the purpose of coming to the shop and the information about the crime under investigation and sign it. No person other than a police officer on legal duty should be involved in such proceedings," the instructions further stated.

If an investigation is to be done at a place outside the working area of an IO, then the officer should bring the issue to the notice of the concerned Vigilance Committee appointed by the District Superintendent of Police. Also the Vigilance Committee should assist the investigating officer concerned as necessary in maintaining the confidentiality of the investigation, the instructions stated.

"After entering the shop of the gold dealer, the IO should hand over to the trader the copy of FIR of the crime/ information relating to the crime and the photocopies/information regarding the property seized from the accused. So that it will be possible for gold traders to verify their records and submit detailed information/disclosures regarding the same to the police officer. The police officer should record the statement of the jeweller preferably in his shop and should not compel him to accompany the police team," stated the instructions.

"A thorough preliminary inquiry should be conducted to ascertain the involvement of the jeweller in the crime. The arrest should be done only after sufficient evidence is available and if the arrest is necessary in the course of investigation. Allow the presence of persons authorized by the association of bullion traders or two local witnesses at the time of search. If stolen goods are found in the possession of a jeweller, the police should properly confiscate the goods before the panchas. Also, a copy of panchnama/seizure panchnama should be made available to the bullion merchant immediately in his shop and his signature should be obtained," the instructions stated.

"If it is found that a bullion dealer did not take the stolen property with any wrongdoing, he should be used as a witness against the accused. Traders who cooperate in the investigation should not be treated like criminals by the police authorities. A police officer is expected to display a high standard of professionalism in such an event," stated the instructions.

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