A recent study by non-government organisation (NGO) Praja Foundation showed that Mumbai police took an average 9.2 months to file a charge sheet in a rape case. This average time span was calculated on the basis of the result of 300 cases that were heard by the lower court in the past five years. In these cases, conviction was granted in just 54 cases while the accused in remaining 246 cases were acquitted.
The study revealed that on an average, cops take about 9.2 months to file a charge sheet after registering a first information report (FIR) in rape cases as against 90 days period stipulated by the law. Later, it takes 21.3 months for decisions to reach Mumbai sessions court followed by another 1.3 months for the first hearing after the submission of charge sheets.
It came to the fore that most of the rape incidents took place in South Central Mumbai (Chembur, Sion Koliwada, Mahim) ranging from 66 in 2012-13, 105 in 2013-14 and 144 in 2014-15. North Central Mumbai, comprising Villeparle, Kurla and Bandra, has highest occurrence in crime with 9,286 cases.
The conviction rate in Class II serious offences (rape, murder, molestation and kidnapping) shows improvement, but needs a massive improvement. In the year 2012, the rate was as low as seven per cent followed by an equally dismal nine per cent in 2014. However, it showed signs of improvement in 2015 as conviction rate doubled (18 per cent).
“Out of the two key recommendations on bringing better police reforms, state security commission has not been formed yet and same is the case with the state police complaint authority, which has no office,” said Milind Mhaske, project director of Praja Foundation.