Andhra Pradesh Police set new benchmark in criminal justice delivery

Andhra Pradesh Police created history by securing a guilty verdict for two accused, in an attempt to rape case, in just 57 days

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Police created history and set a new benchmark in criminal justice delivery by securing a guilty verdict for two accused, in an attempt to rape case, in just 57 days, after having completed the prosecution process in 14 days.

"This was the first such attempt ever made in the country. And we were successful in securing a verdict in such quick time after a scientific investigation process. This case highlights the tremendous coordination between the police, prosecution lawyers and the judiciary," state Director General of Police K V Rajendranath Reddy told PTI.

The case related to an attempt to rape against a Lithuanian national, who was passing through a forest patch in SPS Nellore district on March 8, 2022.

Two persons lured her to a place in the forest and attempted to molest her but she managed to escape to safety and file a complaint with the police.

"Within three hours, the two accused were arrested and by March 16 we filed the charge sheet against them in court. We got the case listed for prosecution in quick time as the victim was supposed to return to her native country," the DGP said.

The trial in the case was completed in three days from March 29 and the Nellore sessions court completed examination of evidence in one more day.

The court heard the arguments of the two sides on April 6 and 7 and reserved the judgment, which was finally delivered on May 5.

The two accused, I Saikumar and Syed Mohammad Abid, were sentenced to a prison term of seven years each and ordered to pay a fine of Rs 15,000.

The victim sent a video message to the DGP congratulating and thanking the state police for the speedy conviction.

"This case exemplified how the criminal justice system could work effectively through proper coordination. This was a first not only in the state but also the country that such a case was tried and the accused convicted in just a matter of days," Rajendranath noted.

The DGP said the conviction and the pace at which it happened, should now keep the criminals worried that the system would catch up with them in no time.

"The average time taken to complete investigation in rape and (women) murder cases came down to 58 days in the last three years, as against 222 days during 2016-19. In cases of gang rape, it has come down to just 37 days from 250," he said.

In 50 per cent of these cases, the accused were being arrested in less than 48 hours.

Rajendranath said AP stood first in the country in filing charge sheets in 92.21 per cent of POCSO and rape cases in 2021.

"We have taken a series of steps with a focused holistic approach so that justice delivery is expedited by cutting the delays in arresting the accused and filing charge-sheets. This will have a deterring effect and also eliminate scope for witnesses turning hostile," Rajendranath added.

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