Cell burdened, probe into dowry related deaths suffers

BANGALORE AUG. 26. Investigations of cases of dowry related deaths have reportedly suffered as the State Government has not responded to the proposal of the Corps of Detectives (CoD) to reduce the burden on the Anti-Dowry Cell (ADC). The proposal was made two years ago.

The ADC in the CoD probes all cases of dowry related deaths reported in the State, except those from cities which have women police stations headed by a woman police inspector. These cases have to be investigated by a woman police inspector or a male officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) or higher officials.

Due to the rise in the number of dowry related deaths, the pressure on the ADC has increased. As it was felt that the quality of investigation was affected and the investigations were getting delayed, the CoD proposed to the Government to refer only "complex and controversial'' cases to the ADC, and entrust the rest to the jurisdictional police. The CoD requested the Government to refer complex cases to the cell only on the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) of the respective range. However, the State Government has not taken action on the proposal.

Sources in the CoD say that the burden on the ADC has increased as 30 to 40 cases are transferred to it every month. Cases from places with women police stations are being referred to the ADC as women police inspectors have not been posted to these stations. There are also instances of jurisdictional police transferring cases of unnatural death to the ADC by registering them as dowry death cases, sources say.

They say investigations of cases of dowry related deaths are affected as the investigators, at any given point of time, handle five or six cases reported from different parts of the State. There are many instances of officers simultaneously investigating cases from Bidar and the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada. "Shuttling between far off places takes time, and this delays investigation,'' sources add.

According to sources, jurisdictional police do not evince interest in a case after its transfer to the ADC. "In many cases, the ADC officials do not get proper cooperation from jurisdictional police, and this hampers investigation,'' they allege.

However, sources say that the situation is now better than it was three years ago as all vacancies in the ADC have been filled. Earlier, an investigating officer had at least 12 cases on hand at any given time, and the number has come down to six cases.

According to sources, the ADC gets the highest number of cases from the Central Range, comprising Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, and Kolar districts, and the lowest number of cases from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.

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