MADURAI: In a first of its kind, police have started sending updates to complainants of sexual crimes on the progress of court cases through WhatsApp or SMS in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari districts. The system would soon be implemented in Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Madurai and Virudhunagar districts, said IG (south zone) Asra Garg.
Police sources said a committee has been formed to monitor and implement this system effectively in the four districts. The step has been taken as many victims or complainants are not aware of the status of the case in court. The move will help improve follow-up of cases and may result in enhanced conviction rate in the future.
Police in southern districts have been taking up various measures in cases of sexual violence against women and children to ensure they get justice without any delay. Cases registered under the Pocso Act are being handled with utmost care as, right after registering a case, accused are arrested and victims are made aware of their rights and benefits entitled to them legally, police sources said.
The services and rights available to child victims have been explained apart from providing them a written copy of the same through Form-A. Thereafter, an initial assessment report (Form-B) is prepared by the investigating officer containing preliminary details about the victim and the offence committed and sent to the Child Welfare Committee within 24 hours of registration of the First Information Report (FIR). This enables the Child Welfare Committee to provide special relief to deserving victims.
Based on the circumstances of the victim, the police are making efforts to assign a support person through the Child Welfare Committee. The support person would render assistance to the child during investigation and trial. Apart from this, the police were also providing assistance to victims to get interim and final compensation through the court without any delay.
When the accused involved in a case files a bail application, the victim or parents or the complainant are informed about the date of the bail hearing in advance. This enables them or someone appointed by them to appear in person during the bail hearing and oppose the same, giving the victims to be part of the bail consideration process.