Need fast-track courts for rape, but trials still speedy: Bihar DGP

Bihar police chief Abhayanand says all rape cases reported in the state will now be sent for speedy trial. In an interview to The Indian Express, he said the police have proposed setting up fast-track courts for taking up rape cases, besides those of murder and corruption.

"We have sent the home department a proposal to start fast-track courts with our own funds. The Centre no longer gives funds for such courts," the DGP said.

Bihar introduced speedy trials in 2006 and this has resulted in rapid convictions, with the police instructed to produce as many witnesses as possible. "Though fast-track courts can help in rape cases, even the existing system of speedy trials works," he said. "We have to ensure all victims depose in court and are not intimidated by threats, and don't hesitate because of the social stigma."

The last five years have seen over 65,000 convictions and fresh instructions have been given to ensure speedy trial of rape cases, he said. The state had 900 rape cases last year.

Excerpts from the interview:

CAMERAS FOR CROWDS: "My suggestion (photographing and videographing crowds) is being criticised but time will show the importance of installing cameras at vital installations and traffic signals. If the Bureau of Police Research and Development is considering researching my initiative, it must have some merit." (Policemen have dubbed his initiative "Indian Photography Sevice". Abhayanand's force had earned much criticism following a mob attack on the CM's convoy in Khagaria.

CORRUPTION: "It is a heinous crime. We need fast-track courts for all heinous crimes."

ILLICIT LIQUOR: (The annual illicit liquor trade runs into Rs 2,500 crore.) "Police have started confiscating illegal property (worth Rs 400 crore) belonging to traders... The police's economic offences wing is working in coordination with all 40 districts. We are seeking the Enforcement Directorate's cooperation."

... contd.

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