On 10th October 2020, Ministry of Home Affairs issued advisory to states to ensure mandatory action by police.
Over a last few weeks, many have been raising concerns over some of the crimes committed against women be it Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan or any other state the concern remains the same. However, in recent times crimes against women have been politicized while the recent NCRB data raises the actual concern.
Recent NCRB Data -:
On 29th September 2020, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released its annual 2019 report ‘CRIME IN INDIA’
The crimes against women increased 7.3% from 2018-19 there was increase of 7.3% in crimes against scheduled caste as per the latest NCRB data. If we look at absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh tops in both categories. However Assam reported highest crime against women (per lakh population) and Rajasthan had the highest number of crimes against Scheduled Castes.
“A total of 4,05,861 cases of crime against women were registered during 2019, showing an increase of 7.3% over 2018 (3,78,236 cases). Majority of cases under crime against women under IPC were registered under ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ (30.9%), followed by ‘assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’ (21.8%), ‘kidnapping & abduction of women’ (17.9%) and ‘rape’ (7.9%). The crime rate registered per lakh women population is 62.4 in 2019 in comparison with 58.8 in 2018,” as per the latest NCRB data.
India recorded an average of 87 rape cases daily in 2019, total of 32,033 cases of rape were lodged in 2019, and in 2018 33,356 cases of rape were recorded across the country up from 32,559 in 2017 as per the data.
UP recorded highest crime against women (59, 853) accounting for 14.7% of such cases across the country followed by Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Rajasthan had highest number of rapes reported (5,997) followed by UP and Madhya Pradesh.
UP recorded highest number of crimes against the girl child under POCSO Act with 7,444 followed by Maharashtra and MP. Highest rate was seen in Sikkim followed by MP and Haryana.
Previous NCRB Data-2016
Rape cases had increased from 34,651 in 2015 to 38,947 in 2016. Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of rape cases with 4,882 and 4,816 respectively followed by Maharashtra 4,189.
OTHER STATISTICS AND DATA
If we look at this data it clearly explains the increasing crime rate against women. 2016 saw 3,22,949 cases against women, 2017 saw 3,45,989 and 2018 saw 3,78,277 cases.
While 38,947 rape cases were recorded in 2016, 32,559 in 2017 and 32, 632 cases in 2018.
Uttar Pradesh recorded 49, 262 cases of crime against women in 2016, 56,011 in 2017 and 59, 445.
LOW CONVICTION RATE:
As per the recent NCRB data on an average 87 rapes happen every day in India. The NCRB data reveals that rate of crimes against women went up from 58.8(in 2018) to 62.4 (in 2019).
But however the conviction rates remain 27.8% below 30% which means that only 28 out of 100 gets convicted.
In 2018, conviction rate was 27.2% comparatively low to 2017 in which conviction rate was 32.2 % recorded when 5,822 rape cases resulted in conviction out of the 18,099 cases whose trial was complete as per the NCRB data.
In 2018 conviction rate got reduced to 27.2%, as 1,56,327 rape cases were on trial in 2018 and in this trial was completed in 17,313 cases resulting in conviction in only 4,708 cases and acquittal in 11,133 cases and discharge in 1,472 cases. A total of 1, 38,642 cases were pending in trial in 2018.
A case can be discharged before trial begins and acquittals can happen only when trial concludes.
OPINION OF ACTIVIST ON LOW CONVICTION RATE:’
- Vani Subramanian from women empowerment group Saheli, said the Nirbhaya incident is not an isolated one.
“Sexual assault occurs with frightening regularity in this country. We need to evolve punishments that act as true deterrents to the very large number of men who commit these crimes,” she said.
“The low conviction rate shows that perpetrators of sexual violence enjoy a high degree of impunity, including being freed of charges,” Subramanian said.
- Annie Raja a women activist and a CPI leader said increasing the number of fast track courts cannot be the only solution to the low conviction rate in cases of sexual violence.
She was referring to the Centre’s decision to set up 1,023 special courts for speedy trial of cases of sexual assault on women and children.
“Cases come to courts after inquiries and witness report and then only court gives its verdict,” she said. “You need to sensitise the police. Even among Delhi Police personnel, you should ask how much is the awareness about the anti-rape law. That is why we are demanding complete overhauling and judicial reforms,” she said.
Raja further suggested that more budgetary allocation is required in building the infrastructure and facilities for rape cases
“Why do these cases have to wait long for forensic reports? Because we have very few forensic labs in the country. These are all systems that need to be in place to ensure time-bound justice. For that we need budgetary allocation, you need have political will and sensitivity,” she said.
- Activist and former National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam also believed that a complete overhaul of the judicial system was needed.
“It took seven years to get justice and there are hundreds of cases which do not evoke this kind of a response (that the Nirbhaya case got). We must have a moratorium of time,” she said.
SOME OF THE HORRIFIC CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN:
1996 PRIYADARSHINI MATTO CASE:
On 23rd January 1996, an law student of Delhi University in final year was found strangled and dead at her uncle’s residence at Vasant Kunj in Delhi. She was raped, injured 14 times and then injured 14 times with a helmet and strangled with a wire. Delhi Police registered an FIR against Santosh Singh as he was the last one to be seen spotted her entrance home.
Within 2 days case was handed to CBI and they registered a case, on April 11 1996 charge sheet was filed and on August 29 1996 charges were framed.
On 3rd December 1999, acquitting Santosh, ASJ Thareja delivers judgment; says the “state had failed to bring home the charge of rape against the accused…‘I know that he (the accused) is the man who committed the crime. I acquit him, giving him the benefit of doubt.’
On July 22, 2006 CBI filed a petition for early hearing. On Aug 31 2006, court ordered for daily hearings. On September 2007, High Court reserves judgment in case. CBI seeked action against 5 police officers.
On Oct 17 2006: Delhi High court convicts Santosh of both rape and murder.
2012: NIRBHAYA CASE:
On 16th December 2012, Nirbhaya a paramedical student was brutally gang-raped by 6 men what followed was nation wide protest against the horrific crime. On September 10th 2013 a court convicted Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan on 13 offences. On September 13, court awarded death sentence to them.
On March 13 2014, HC upholds death penalty to 4 convicts. The case went to Supreme Court and they stayed execution of 2 convicts. Later stayed execution of other convicts too.
On 5th May 2017, Supreme court upheld the death penalty of 4 convicts saying that cases falls under the category of ‘rarest of rare ‘and offence created ‘tsunami of shock’
After a lot of delay, on March 20th 2020, all 4 convicts were executed at 5:30 am in Tihar Jail.
2019: DISHA CASE-
The four persons allegedly took Disha (name changed) to an isolated spot near Thondupalli toll plaza. They gang raped her and killed her and then set her body on fire. On November 29th, they arrested the accused and on 6th June police killed them in encounter.
Crimes against women are of a serious concern, but what I think is that the matter isn’t taken seriously. Even when cases against women continue to increase, even though we as a common man continue to outrage without any biases but it seems our politicians just make it about politics. They just play politics and then go away.
We have voted politicians so that they take up our issues seriously and not ignore it but however, no one is concerned about it.
Cases like Nirbhaya, 2019 case or any other rape cases it pains me as a human. Nirbhaya case took 7 years to get justice. The battle remains long for other victims who keep on fighting. There are only a headlines but only 2-3 cases are taken up for debates and discussion, politicians make a visit and then we move on.
When the crimes rates against women increase and there’s a low conviction rate of 27%, we as a country need to introspect that where we went wrong. There may be various factors contributing to low conviction rates but then we need to know why there is such low conviction rates.
But as a society we must change, there are many who always want actions but we need to ensure social media is free from toxic content which disrespects women.
We need to change the ‘MINDSET’ which some have. There have been instances were insensitive as well as insulting remarks have been made against women. We need to ensure that such type of mindset also changes.
The sole reason I’m writing this article because this issue in my opinion wasn’t discussed the way it should have and it’s high time we address such issues and also have a discussions.
At the end, I would like to quote what Vice-President of India, chairman of Rajyasabha Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said
“What is required is not a new bill. What is required is a political will, administrative skill and then change of mindset and then go for the kill of the social evil”
Bhargavi Bhajpai – Writer Bharat Bhagya Vidhata