From rape to robbery, crime is on the rise in Delhi. But there is a silver lining.
The wheels of justice are moving faster than ever before.
The criminal justice system decided 29,700 cases in 2012, up from 18,680 cases that were disposed of just five years ago. In 2011, as many as 25,300 cases were decided in 2011.
The brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in December last year had triggered demands for a quick trial in the case.
Stirred by the street protests in the aftermath of the gang rape incident, the government set up fast-track courts in each district courts of the Capital to try such cases.
The National Crime Records Bureau’s 2012 report indicates that the lower courts are getting their act together to dispose of a larger number of cases.
For instance, the courts decided 1,285 cases within six months in 2012, double the number of cases finalised the previous year.
Also, two out of three cases decided by the courts in 2012 had been wrapped up between 1-5 years of the case going to trial.
Still better, the police was able to secure the conviction of a higher proportion of accused in 2012. Conviction rate went up from 48.1% in 2011 to 52.4% this year. The improvement was prominent in cases of murder, rape, abduction and dacoity. But car thieves still had Delhi police fumbling, first due to its inability to catch the suspects and recover the vehicles.
And then, to collect enough evidence to bring them to justice.
The conviction rate of auto thieves dropped from last year’s 46% by five percentage points.
That is bad news for motor vehicle owners in the Capital, particularly since 14,446 vehicles were stolen last year alone.
The police could restore just about 3,000 vehicles to its owners.