: In an attempt to prioritise cases under investigation, the district police are in the process of sifting cases pertaining to murder, robbery, dacoity and theft of properties of high value in each of the seven sub-divisions for speedier investigation.

The investigation into 15 cases will be directly supervised by the Superintendent of Police and each of the seven Deputy Superintendents will oversee two cases.

"Though investigation into every case registered is important, we are trying to make model cases in the quality of investigation that will ensure the cases end up in conviction," Madurai rural Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan told The Hindu .

Around 15,000 cases are currently under investigation in the district of which some 500 cases are classified as grave crimes.

Cases involving double murder, crimes against women, such as rape, sexual assault of juveniles and cases with a bearing on maintenance of law and order needed special attention, he said.

Mr. Balakrishnan said the strategy was to have closer monitoring of the investigation by the SP and DSP of these cases at every stage.

Focus would be on the quality of investigation, on the recording of statements of witnesses and collection of documentary evidence. The plan is to fast track the select cases and move them to the stage of filing chargesheets in the courts within a month.

The SP linked the rise in grave crimes to the increase in the price of gold.

Theft of property valued at Rs. 50,000 and above, and burglary of property valued at Rs. 35,000 are classified as a grave offence. "From the days when the theft of seven sovereigns of gold constituted a grave offence, these days the theft of even four sovereigns would attract the tag of grave offence as the value of gold has gone up," he said.

Around 15,000 cases are currently under investigation in Madurai district of which 500 are classified grave crimes