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High Court dismiss petition challenging DPP powers

THE High Court has dismissed the petition lodged by an accused, challenging constitutionality of provisions under Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), conferring powers to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), or court to discontinue criminal proceedings and those denying him bail. Joseph Gwaza, who is charged with trafficking in narcotic drugs, was against section 91, which gives the DPP powers to drop charges by entering “nolle proseq ui” certificate at any stage of criminal trial and section 225 (5 ) applied by the court to dismiss charges for incomplete investigations.

He argued that the laws affect his rights to be heard provided for under Article 13 (6) of the Constitution.

There were also sections 148 (5) (a) (ii) (v), 245 (1) (2) (3 ) of the CPA and section 29 of the Drugs Control and Enforcement Act complained off for denying the accused bail on the offence he is facing.

The accused alleged that the provisions in question are unconstitutional, null and void for offending Articles 13 (1) (6) (b) and 15 (2) (a) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania for offending the constitutional right on presumption of innocence by treating the accused as a convict.

In their ruling delivered recently, High Court Judges; Firmin Matogoro, Benhajj Masoud and Ilvin Mgetta said in respect to section 91 and 225 (5 ), “We understand in both situations the accused person is discharged, therefore, his rights to freedom are not affected in any way.”

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Author: FAUSTINE KAPAMA

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