Delay in forensic reports is reason for high acquittal rate: Sessions judge Anuja Prabhudessai
Exposing chinks in the police investigating system, sessions judge Anuja Prabhudessai who also holds additional charge of the children's court, said one of the reasons for the high rate of acquittals is inordinate delay in submitting forensic reports by the police.
Prabhudessai said, "Forensic reports are not submitted even after the chargesheet is filed and at times it is not filed for over two years."
She made the statement while delivering the keynote address at a one-day workshop organized by the Goa state commission for women (GSCW) on crime against women on Sunday.
Goa police sends its samples to the central forensic scientific laboratory (CFSL) at Surat for examination.
When there is a delay in receiving the forensic report, she said, witnesses are called at a later stage of the trial but by then they shift or move away giving scope for acquittal.
She added that awareness among adolescents has to be created about penal consequences. Also better enforcement of law and accessibility to judicial system should help reduce crimes against women.
Director general of police (DGP) Kishan Kumar said that when there is a crime against women, society at large is affected.
While there has been a demand from some sections of society to curb crime against women, Kumar said, "There is no dearth of laws but better implementation of the existing laws is needed."
Emphasizing the urgent need for sensitization of the public and police, he said, "Society has to change its attitude. It has to be borne in mind that crimes against women are crimes against her existence," he said.
Head of the forensic department of Goa Medical College & Hospital Dr Silvano Sapeco, said his department submits reports on time however reports of serological and other samples sent outside Goa, should be received in time.
Deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza who was present during the last leg of the workshop, said society needs to change its attitude if incidences of violence against women have to be reduced.
Minister for women and child Dilip Parulekar, who inaugurated the workshop, referring to the ongoing debate on capital punishment for rape convicts, raised the question whether such a measure would really bring down the crime rate in the country. Ezilda Sapeco, chairperson of the GSCW, said all agencies involved in investigation and delivering justice have to work in tandem if the crime rate has to drop down. [TOI]