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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

‘Rape cases on the rise, but state better than developed nations’: Rajasthan Police to HC

In an affidavit filed in Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday, the state government said according to Rajasthan Police, 43% of rape cases in 2018 turned out to be false during investigation.

jaipur Updated: May 30, 2019 13:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
(HT File / Representative Photo )

The Rajasthan Police has admitted that the rape cases in the state were on the rise but cited rape crime rate (crime every 100,000 people) to say it was better than developed countries such as Sweden and US.

In an affidavit filed in Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday, the state government said according to Rajasthan Police, 43% of rape cases in 2018 turned out to be false during investigation.

According to legal expert Bhanwar Singh Chouhan, a rape case is called a false case if there are discrepancies in any of the three – circumstantial evidence, witnesses or biological evidences.

The affidavit was in response to a notice issued to the home secretary and director general of police (DGP) on a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) on May 17. The two were asked to submit the reply by May 27. The affidavit was filed on Tuesday. The high court was to hold hearing on the reply on Wednesday but it was postponed for Thursday, said additional advocate general Farzand Ali, who appeared for the state government.

The PIL was in the wake of the Alwar gang rape case in which five men are accused of raping a 19-year-old woman when she was going to market with her husband. The Rajasthan Police drew flak for not acting on the family’s complaint in time.

According to the affidavit, whose copy is with HT, the rape crime rate in Rajasthan is 10.4, which is much lower than that in Sweden (56.7), Iceland (54), Guyana (41.9) and USA (38.6). In absolute numbers, Rajasthan ranks 12th in India in terms of rape cases, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the affidavit said.

The affidavit said that an unexpected increase has been reported in the rape cases last year compared to 2017. In just one year, 1,030 more cases were recorded .

Giving the reasons for more ra[e cases being registered, the government said awareness is the main factor.

In addition, incidents of rape have increased due to breakdown of social fabric and structure, easy access to sexual content and changes in social norms.

Registration of cases is also high because of orders by the police headquarters to register every case.

The Rajasthan Police said as many as 43.3% cases of rape registered in 2018 were found to be false. This is high as compared to the overall false crime cases, which was 29.18% in 2018.

“The percentage of false rape cases would be even higher if the POCSO Act cases are not included as, under this Act, even a consensual act is an offence,” the affidavit said.

Former chairperson of State Women’s Commission, Suman Sharma, said sometimes rape cases are called false to hide the negligence of police and local administration.

“Police should deal with rape cases, especially sexual assaults with young girls, with utmost sensitivity,” she said.

The government said police have issued several directions to the field for ensuring safety and security of women and girls as also the people in general and has also issued guidelines for their prompt investigation.

Recently, an officer of the level of deputy superintendent of police has been posted in every district to take care of crime against women.

The affidavit also mentions data about murders, saying the number has remained static or reduced in recent past.

“About 32.80% of registered cases of murder in Rajasthan (in 2018) are found to have never occurred,” the affidavit said.

First Published: May 30, 2019 13:23 IST

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