It's been a year since a group of people stormed into his house, assaulted Mohammed Akhlaq and his son on suspicion of having killed a cow for its meat.

But a year later, the trial against the 18 accused in the case is proceeding slowly forward and the court is still to frame charges against them.

So what has happened so far?

  • 18 persons have been booked for murder
Akhlaq's family after the incident | Source: Reuters

  • The chargesheet in the case was filed in December 2015, but it was only in April 2016 that it was sent to a fast track court
  • The court has had 18 hearings. There were proceedings in five of them.
  • There were 8 adjournments due to pleas from defence lawyers, two hearings in which additional documents were sought and two days on which the judge was on leave, reports the Indian Express.
Akhlaq was suspected of killing a cow that had gone missing | Source: PTI

  • A major factor for the delay was the fact that the defence had moved an application seeking an FIR against Akhlaq's family for allegedly slaughtering a cow, says the Economic Times.
  • Three of the suspects were found to be minors and are out on bail, the report says.

But is the speed of the trial really a surprise?

No.

Akhlaq's family after the incident | Source: Reuters

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures for 2015 show that in Uttar Pradesh only 34 cases were completed in less than a year in cases under additional session judges.

A majority of the cases before additional sessions judges were found to have taken anywhere between 3 to 10 years.

Akhlaq's case, while causing a national storm, is unlikely to have an outcome very quickly despite it being before a fast track court. The next hearing of the case is on October 28, when the court might frame charges against the accused. We can only hope that by the second anniversary of the incident, a verdict will be in.