The Delhi Police, after announcing free registration of FIRs for rape and molestation cases - that resulted in a staggering increase in the number of women coming forward to lodge their complaints - are now aiming to work towards ensuring speedy justice to the victims.
The police department, already under fire over women security following the December 16, 2012 gang rape case, on Friday announced that chargesheets in cases of rape will be filed within 20 days of the arrest of the accused. According to the existing law, investigators get a maximum of 90 days to file chargesheets in all cases, including cases of rape.
The announcement was made by Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi during an annual press conference held at India Habitat Centre. "Crimes against women is a major concern for us and we will try our best to curb it. We issued an order today (Friday) that says chargesheets — particularly in rape cases — will be filed within 20 days," Bassi said.
According to the new rule, if an investigating officer fails to file a chargesheet within 20 days, the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) of the district or wings concerned will have to bring this to the notice of the joint police commissioner (joint CP) with an explaination. The joint CP will personally look into the reasons and take steps to ensure the chargesheet is filed in the next 10 days.
"If the chargesheet is not filed even after 30 days, it will be brought to the notice of special commissioner (law and order) and special commissioner (crime) by the joint CP, explaining the delay and then these officers are supposed to bring the same to the commissioner’s notice in a consolidated way," said Bassi.
The step has been taken to ensure speedy justice to victims of rape as investigators have been blamed for delaying probes in various cases. Bassi said complaints of any nature received at the police stations will be converted into FI Rs.
"Strict instructions have been given to police stations that each and every complaint be registered, and people not be turned away. This is why (the number of) cases have increased and it increase in future as well," said Bassi.
Last year saw a steep hike in offences like molestation and rape, which saw a jump of a whopping 412.56% and 129.26%, respectively. According to the police, 1559 cases of rape were registered in 2013 against 680 in 2012, a hike of 129.26%. As many as 3347 cases of molestation were reported in the past year as against 653, a rise of 412.56%.
"Helplines for women safety have been announced, 24x7 helpdesks are available at every police station. Apart from this, women constables and officers have been deputed to manage women helplines in every police station. Areas with paying guest accommodations, where women stay in Delhi, have been brought under special watch. PCR vans have been deployed outside girls’ schools and colleges," he said.
This year, Delhi Police has also decided to focusing more on children. Now, the police claimed, FIRs were being registered immediately on receipt of complaints of missing children.