AG: Preliminary inquiries to be abolished by next year

Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 23:30

At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi says, come next year, pre­lim­i­nary en­quires will be a thing of the past.


He made the com­ment while speak­ing at a meet­ing in Gulf View last evening.

Ac­cord­ing to Al-Rawi, leg­isla­tive steps had been com­plet­ed to abol­ish ju­di­cial hear­ings to de­ter­mine whether there is suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence for an in­di­vid­ual to stand tri­al.

He said the move will go a long way to lessen the bur­den placed on the Mag­is­trates’ Court which has been stretched be­yond ca­pac­i­ty.

We have leg­is­lat­ed for the in­crease in ju­di­cial num­bers, we have in­tro­duced case man­agers but be­fore this year is done, God will­ing, we will abol­ish pre­lim­i­nary en­quiries.


Ac­cord­ing to the AG, with the in­tro­duc­tion of max­i­mum sen­tence in­di­ca­tors and plea bar­gain­ing, crim­i­nal tri­als will be­gin with­in a year.

Op­po­si­tion sen­a­tor Sad­dam Ho­sein had ex­pressed con­cerns with the abo­li­tion of pre­lim­i­nary en­quires when the bill was pi­lot­ed in the sen­ate ear­li­er this year. He queried whether the law tar­get­ed cer­tain peo­ple.

The AG, how­ev­er, de­nied that the move would be used to ma­nip­u­late the sys­tem. He in­sist­ed it would aid the po­lice ser­vice and help curb crime.

With the abo­li­tion of pre­lim­i­nary en­quiries we will re­move a fur­ther 26,000 cas­es, that means you have 43 mag­is­trates in 12 courts deal­ing with a few thou­sand mat­ters as op­posed to 146,000 mat­ters, it means the mu­nic­i­pal po­lice can deal with the polic­ing of en­vi­ron­ment and that the po­lice are left to deal with se­ri­ous work in a dras­ti­cal­ly re­duced num­ber of cas­es be­fore the court.

 - Jesse Ramdeo