Tamil Nadu

When the fence raids the crop 

Five policemen, then attached to the Tirukoilur police station, accused of involvement in the gang-rape of four women belonging to the Scheduled Tribe, have been evading the trial for over 10 years. None of them was ever remanded since the incident occurred on November 22, 2011.

The State Human Rights Commission had recommended to the Director-General of Police to file the final report before the competent court in the criminal case registered against the policemen under the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. But the final charge sheet has not been submitted.

Following the registration of a case (Crl. 881/2011, Tirukoilur PS), the then Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, issued a statement on November 29 that year that inspector Srinivasan, special sub-inspector Ramanathan, head constable Dhanasekar and constables Karthikeyan and Bhakthavachalam were placed under suspension. 

K. Chandru, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, said, “There is an all-round failure in the criminal system of justice. The defence adopts several ingenious methods. It has come to a stage where delay itself is a relief for the accused. The ultimate success of a case depends upon the trial judge, who has got all powers to rectify mistakes.”  

The delay in the trial has been benefiting the accused, as one of them superannuated, trial court judges changed and some documents needed for the trial went missing from the case file.

Advocate D. Nagasaila, a member of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, said that in this case, there had been a very conscious and deliberate attempt to protect the accused. “The rape survivors are of the ST community and it seems the entire system is working against them. The accused are not normal people but part of the police force and they are abusing their freedom and interfering with the course of justice.”

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2022 6:45:24 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/when-the-fence-raids-the-crop/article65262241.ece