Muscat: Almost 38,000 cases were received by the Public Prosecution last year, according to the latest report by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
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“The number of cases received during 2016 by the public prosecution was 37,972 cases, with a completion rate of 94 per cent,” the NCSI report stated.
More than half the cases, or 56 per cent, were reserved cases and 38 per cent were referred to the courts. The Reconciliation and Settlement Committee received 19,691 applications concerned with civil, personal and trade issues, according to the statistics of the courts issued by NCSI.
According to the NCSI, the vast majority of the cases referred to the public prosecution were misdemeanours, at 32,879 cases, while the number of felony cases was 2,967.
There were 1,186 misdemeanour traffic offences and 515 felony traffic cases. Last year also saw a total of 63,002 lawsuits in the Initial Courts. According to the report, the number of court-issued warrants reached 48,776.
The Civil Department had the largest number of cases brought to the Initial Courts in 2016, whose number was pegged at 21,323. The number of lawsuit charges was 15,416, followed by 17,164 lawsuits for felony charges. The number of convictions reached 15,064, according to the report. The report stated that the Commercial Department received 13,669 cases, while 9,935 were convicted.
The Shariah Chamber received 6,164 claims and 4,670 convictions. There were 4,682 labour lawsuits and 3,691 convictions.
“In the appeals court, there were 27,173 appeals cases, with more than three quarters of the appeals fulfilled by the courts,” the report stated. The penalty appeals court received the largest number of appeal cases at 8,599, followed by the Civil Departments at 7,318 appeals. According to the NCSI, there were 4,467 labour appeals, 3,003 international appeals, 2,026 felony appeals and 1,760 appeals in Sharia courts.
Data from the Reconciliation and Settlement Committees for 2016 indicated that it received 19,691 applications for reconciliation. There were 7,612 applicants approved for reconciliation, compared with 11,266 that were not.
Some 3,039 requests for reconciliation were related to personal cases in which 1,433 were approved and 1,472 were not approved. There were 8,940 applications from the Civil Courts in which 3,718 were approved and 4,903 were not. According to the report, there were 7,712 commercial applicants, of which 2,461 were approved for reconciliation and 4,891 were not approved.
“The majority of the decisions to not approve a reconciliation was due to a failure of the defendant to show up,” according to the report. 6,265 applicants failed to appear in court, 1,885 dropped the dispute, and 1,869 reconciled outside of the committee.
Mohamed Al Tayeb AbdulNoor has 35 years experience in advocacy. He has spent the last 12 years working in Oman and currently serves as a Senior Council at the Al Alawi and Co, Advocates and Legal Consultants.
“I believe that the number of cases is lower than before or at least not higher than the previous year. The reasons could be due to the new amendments to the laws especially regarding the traffic laws such as driving while talking on the mobile, penalties such as one year in prison and fines of OMR50. The laws are in effect and the traffic is now fantastic in Oman and is safer. The penalties are harsher and so people pay attention.