The Delhi high court on Thursday pulled up the police for an alarming increase in incidents of rape in the Capital and blamed it on their failure to take timely steps.
Asking the Delhi Police to “find out the root cause” for the spurt in incidents of rape, the court also asked them to keep a close watch on “people coming from nearby states”, saying “it was found that most of the crimes happening in the Capital are committed” by them.
“What is happening in Delhi? Every day we get to hear new such incidents. There is something wrong somewhere,” said a bench headed by chief justice D Murugesan. “People have gone mad. The reason for alarming rise in incidents or rape needs to be urgently found out. Incidents of gang rape in the bus and the rape of a five-year-old is most shocking.”
“Total sluggishness” on the part of the police in recording complaints and taking action after each incident was even more shocking, the court said.
This year, Delhi has recorded a 158% rise in cases of rape compared with last year. According to official data, 463 rapes were reported till April 15 as against 179 during the same period last year.
A lawyer, Meera Bhatia, had brought to the court's notice the lapses on the part of the police to investigate the disappearance of a five-year-old girl in Gandhi Nagar in east Delhi. The child, who went missing on April 15 from outside her home, was found raped two days later. The police allegedly tried to hush up the matter and even gave R2,000 to her father.
Police counsel Dayan Krishnan said the force was trying its best but there were many "societal issues also to be solved that were far beyond policing".
The bench said intensive patrolling, better training and dedicated teams were the only solutions.