Speedy trial in POCSO cases

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Hyderabad: To fast track investigation and conviction in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and rape cases across the State, the Women Safety Wing has decided to set up a ‘Special Task Force’. The Special Task Force will be headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) rank officer to monitor these cases as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court. It will be monitoring cases to ensure that the investigation is completed within two months and trial cases completed within two months.

Monitoring will be done through the database on the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems as a platform and will be located at the head office of the Women Safety Wing here in Hyderabad. “The purpose of this special task force is to minutely monitor all the cases of child abuse. Right now we have started with the POCSO Act cases and slowly we want to go ahead and follow it in rape cases too,” said Swati Lakra, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) and In-charge Women Safety.

As the Women Safety Wing office has just started, there will be one senior officer monitoring all the cases which come under the POCSO Act. “We will be doing it through the CCTNS because all the details of the cases registered will have to be uploaded on it as soon as they are reported in any police station across the State. We already have a database of cases booked and their status in the State,” Swati Lakra said. The guidelines of the Supreme Court include that investigation should be completed within two months and the trial has to begin in a given time. All these will be monitored by the STF, officials said.

“We will be sending alerts including messages to the Station House Officers concerned and the unit officers like reminders. It will be more like monitoring and ensuring that timelines are kept,” the senior police official said adding that they will also be checking the timelines and that how many cases were yet to be charge-sheeted. Officials said the investigating officials are already being asked whether arrests have been made in these cases. Wherever arrests have not been made, memos will also be issued for quickening the investigation process.

Swati Lakra said, for now, the prime focus will be on POCSO Act cases and later will move on to rape cases too. “We are for now concentrating on child abuse cases. Once we become thorough in monitoring it, we will move to monitor rape cases and follow a similar procedure,” she said.