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'Karkoons fix lawyers to bail out criminals'

A nexus of crooked court cops and advocates at the Borivli metropolitan magistrate’s court has been instrumental in assisting alleged criminals to procure bail, lawyers have claimed.

The Borivli Advocates Bar Association (BABA) has complained to several judicial authorities and the police department, demanding transfer of a few tainted court cops, or karkoons (clerks). A written complaint signed by more than 150 lawyers from the Borivli court was submitted by association president Ashok Rajput last month.

“In the complaint, we have demanded immediate removal of these court cops or their transfer out of the magistrate’s court. They force criminals to hire particular lawyers in order to get a 50% cut from the advocate’s fees,” said Rajput. “The top cop has taken cognisance of our complaint. I am also aware that they have started investigations.”

There are over 24 court clerks in Borivli court attached to several police stations like Borivli, MHB Colony, Kandivli, Goregaon, Dahisar, Kurar, etc. At least two cops from each station are posted as clerks to keep track of all the cases admitted in the court. As per the complaint (copy with MiD DAY) these cops, designated as constables or sepoys, have been working in the same job for years.

Lawyers alleged that karkoons, whose only job is to report FIR matters to the court within 24 hours and brief public prosecutors, force accused to hire particular lawyers for bail and other court work. They often mislead accused by demeaning other advocates.

“Court and police records show that for years lawyers have been fixed to take matters from particular police stations. Karkoons have a reputation bigger than a senior lawyer’s,” said a lawyer. A court cop said, “The allegations are false. It is not court cops but the investigation officers (IO) who are involved in forcing the accused to hire certain advocates.”

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