|Imrana's father-in-law Ali outside the court
Patna, Oct. 19: A Bihar court today set an unbeatable speed record by trying, convicting and sentencing a man for attempted rape in a single day, thanks to the eight-year-old victim’s courage.
By 4 pm — just five-and-a-half hours after the case came up for hearing at the Rohtas district and sessions court at 10.30 am -– 25-year-old Dev Kumar Chaudhary had been awarded five years’ rigorous imprisonment.
The victim appeared in court to identify the accused, and the statements of the other witnesses were corroboration enough for judge Arun Kumar Srivastava.
The feat, coming two days after the judicial system took 10 years to convict Priyadarshini Mattoo’s rapist-cum-murderer, beats the earlier Indian record a Bhubaneswar court had set last month by finishing a rape trial in six days.
However, in the Bhubaneswar case, the accused was convicted just 20 days after the crime. There were 86 days between Chaudhary’s offence and conviction.
On July 25, at Dhawa village in Rohtas district, Chaudhary had lured the girl, a neighbour’s daughter, into a vacant room and tried to molest her.
As the girl’s cries brought her father, a shopkeeper, and neighbours running, the accused managed to flee.
A first information report was filed with Nokha police station, where officers quickly prepared the chargesheet.
“There was a huge public outcry over the case and we resolved to bring the accused to justice at the earliest. A special police team arrested Dev Kumar on August 1 and we filed the chargesheet on August 14,” said Rohtas police superintendent N.H. Khan.
A team of officers was formed to motivate the witnesses.
“We also made a request to the district and sessions judge to deliver a speedy judgment. He was kind enough to post the case before his own court. The girl was very brave and she gave the details before the court without fear,” Khan said.
“One day is a record. I haven’t ever heard of it happening with such speed,” Bihar advocate-general P.K. Shahi said.