51% rise in stalking cases but conviction rate abysmally low
Incidents of stalking of women have been on the rise across the country in the past couple of years. From 4,699 cases in 2014, they rose to 7,132 in 2016 — as per the data available with the Union home ministry.
While there has been a rise in number of such cases being registered with the police, the conviction rate has remained abysmally low.
Sample this: of the 4,699 cases registered in 2014, only 134 cases resulted in conviction of 262 people, according to the information provided by minister of state for home, Hansraj Ahir, in the Lok Sabha recently.
Moreover, in 2015, police across the country registered 6,266 cases of stalking but only 340 cases saw conviction of 473 accused.
While the figure for the last year is provisional, still the conviction rate of 5% (379 convictions in 7,132 registered cases) speaks volume about the state of affair in which victims are devoid of justice.
In light of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son allegedly stalking and attempting to kidnap a young woman in a drunken state recently, it could be pointed out that Chandigarh has had 38 case of stalking registered against 41 people in the last three years. However, only nine people have been convicted of the crime.
The national capital Delhi, on the other hand, had 2,500 cases registered in the same period with only 139 ending up in conviction of the stalkers.
While the duration it takes for the police to file charge sheet for the offence that is bailable could lead to complainants losing the resolve to continue, instances of them pressured into withdrawing the case also abound.
“Time-bound trial can help in more convictions. It (stalking) is a serious crime and we have seen stalkers in many cases turning into murderers,” said lawyer Karan Singh.