COIMBATORE: A 13-year-old girl from Ramanathapuram was raped by five people, including her 62-year-old maternal uncle, a 75-year-old man and her boyfriend, a minor, over a period of 10 months since 2012. The five were arrested by the Ramanathapuram (law&order) police in February 2013 and later the case was transferred to the all-woman police station, Ramanathapuram. The trial was held at the district mahila court and the prosecution failed to prove the charges against four of the accused who were acquitted in March 20, 2015.
This is not just an odd case. Many cases face the same situation. This because of the failure of investigation agency to prove the charges.
Madras High Court judge M Jaichandran said in 80-90% of criminal cases filed before it, accused were acquitted as the investigation agency failed to prove the charges.
"Due to lack of proper investigation, failing to collect enough evidences and record proper dying declarations and other flaws, we are forced to acquit the criminals who otherwise would have faced the law of land and punished accordingly," said Jaichandran.
The failure of the judicial system and police department, he said, has seen victims approaching Kangaroo courts and giving courage them to take the law in their hands.
Addressing a training programme on investigation skills for police officers from Coimbatore, Erode, Tirupur, Nilgiris, Salem and Namakkal, held at the Tamil Nadu State judicial academy's regional centre in Coimbatore, Jaichandran said the lapses in the investigation and collection of evidences, often deny justice to the people from poorer sections on the society.
He added that a system to protect the witnesses should be implemented in the state and it would give better conviction. "During the trail of sensational cases, including rape or murder, the superintendent of police (SP) or equal rank officers used to go to the court. This gave confidence to the witnesses of such sensational cases. These systems are not followed here for many years," Jaichandran said.
He also pointed out that police officers, who are handling law and order, and traffic, are forced to investigate sensitive cases also. This would affect the investigation system, he said.
"At least 300 police officers should be identified across the state and they should be given training on best investigation from the New Scotland Yard police officers. These trained officers should be used for sensitive cases, including rapes and murders, and it would improve the conviction rate," Jaichandran said.
Madras High Court judges S Nagamuthu and P N Prakash also addressed the officers and spoke on procedural lapses in investigation of criminal cases and effective prosecution of criminal cases.
City police commissioner A Amalraj, inspector general of police A Pari and other police officials were present at the training programme.