In the backdrop of massive public outrage over the gang rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad, the Directors General of Police (DGP) of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have issued directions to all police stations in their respective states to register a First Information Report (FIR) when a person walks in with a complaint, irrespective of the jurisdiction.
The jurisdictional issues were cited as the reason for the police to not register the case when the parents of the Hyderabad victim approached the nearby station to file a complaint. Later, three policemen were suspended for dereliction of duty.
A ‘Zero FIR’ is a document that can be registered in any police station when a complainant approaches them for a cognizable offence, whether the case is in their jurisdiction or not. They can later inform their counterparts in the appropriate police station.
Andhra Pradesh DGP Gautam Sawang said that disciplinary action would be taken against erring policemen for non-compliance.
“It is observed that when the public approach the police stations for registration of their cases, often they are being directed to go to another police station on point of territorial jurisdiction which is not correct,” he said in a circular dated December 2.
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The circular states that there are specific directions on registration of FIR in the police station:
Even if the alleged offence has been committed outside the territorial jurisdiction of the police station, an FIR shall be registered and the same shall be transferred to the appropriate police station.
The police officers should be clearly informed that the failure to comply with the direction of registration of FIR and a receipt of information about cognizable offence may invite prosecution of the police officer under section 166-A of IPC and it may also invite departmental action against them.
The Telangana DGP M Mahender Reddy also issued a similar circular.
The horrific rape and murder took place near a toll gate on the Outer Ring Road at Shamshabad on November 27. On November 29, the Cyberabad police arrested four accused, Mohammed Ali alias Arif, J Naveen, J Shiva and Chennakeshavulu.
They have since been shifted to Cherlapally jail and are kept in separate, high-security cells, meant to house those accused in terror cases.
The police said that the accused, who were lorry drivers and cleaners, trapped the woman by deflating the tyre of her two-wheeler and later offered help to fix it. After killing the victim, they carried the body in their truck near Shadnagar town and set it ablaze.
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Fast track court
Meanwhile, the Telangana government on Wednesday issued orders constituting a fast-track court for conducting a speedy trial into the case. According to the orders issued by Telangana law secretary A Santosh Reddy, the first additional district and sessions judge court, Mahbubnagar, has been designated as a special court to fast-track the case of the rape and murder of the veterinarian.
The constitution of the fast-track court follows a letter written by the Law department to Registrar of the state high court on Monday in accordance with the announcement by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Within 24 hours, the high court gave its consent for setting up the special court.
The officials said that the government would ensure that the trial would be completed within 45 days and a stringent punishment would be awarded to the accused.
In a similar case of rape and murder of a nine-month-old baby in Warangal in June this year, a fast track court completed the trial within 48 days and sentenced the 28-year-old accused to death. The high court later commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.