Staff Reporter

Police finding it difficult to wind up investigations in the stipulated 30 days

Extension will relieve pressure, says SP

A total of 155 cases registered in East Godavari

Kakinada: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) is thinking of extending the time limit for filing charge sheets in SC atrocities cases by 30 days to provide for certain delays in completing investigations. The police were finding it difficult to wind up the investigations in the originally stipulated 30 days due to some unavoidable delays.

For instance, DNA, forensic or serological examinations, which take an inordinately long time for submission of reports, necessitates extension of the deadlines. NCSC was impressed upon the need to relax the above rule, during its field visits, said Commission Director V Elisha.

Constraints

Addressing a review meeting on welfare, developmental and protective measures for the Scheduled Castes, at the Collector’s office here on Tuesday, Mr. Elisha said the constraints faced by police departments in expediting the SC atrocity cases came to the Commission’s notice and it was seized of the matter. The delays in filing the charge sheets were creating the wrong impression that the police were deliberately dragging on the investigative processes to the advantage of defendants. There has also been a common notion that in 40 to 50 per cent of the cases, the sub-divisional police officers (SDPO) take their own decisions without placing them under wider scrutiny. This notion can be dispelled only when the Superintendents of Police and Collectors personally review the cases to ensure that they are not whittled down by their subordinate officers. This would create confidence that justice would be done after the investigative procedures are duly completed as per norms.

Superintendent of Police Y Nagi Reddy said that extension of the deadline for completing investigations would relieve the SDPO of their burden as in South India an SDPO has to look after 10 to 15 police stations whereas his/her counterpart in northern States would have to monitor only two to three police stations. Moreover, there were police officers exclusively dealing with the SC atrocities cases in north India, which is at present a luxury in Andhra Pradesh.

A total of 155 SC atrocities cases were registered in East Godavari district this year till the end of November. Out of them, 76 were dismissed as false due to lack of evidence, charge sheets were filed in respect of 43 cases and compensation amounting to about Rs 14.5 lakh was paid in the remaining 36 cases. Earlier, Mr. Elisha took stock of the activities of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Rural Water Supply and Housing Departments and District Industries Center which are related to the welfare and development of Scheduled Castes. He suggested to the officers concerned that while following the rules pertaining to welfare of Scheduled Castes, awareness has to be spread about the means to secure justice under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

In-charge Collector K Sasidhar, DRO M Mohan Raju, SC Corporation Executive Director V Mahipal and others were present.