77% serious crime cases in Mumbai resulted in acquittals: Study
NGO Praja Foundation studied 1,326 cases from 2008 to 2012 and found lapses in police investigations; recommends speeding up of judicial processmumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2018 10:34 IST
A study on serious offences by Praja Foundation revealed that most of the cases resulted in acquittals as the police failed to prove the offence because of lack of evidence or witnesses.
Out of the 1,326 cases from 2008 to 2012 studied by the Foundation, 1,016 cases resulted in acquittals. The cases included kidnap, rape, murder, causing grievous hurt, attempt to murder, dacoity and other serious offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The 1,326 cases include 300 rape cases in which 246 were acquitted, 244 murder cases in which 184 were acquitted, 196 attempt to murder cases in which 164 were acquitted and 35 dacoity cases in which 30 were acquitted and 521 other cases in IPC in which 379 were acquitted.
The report blamed investigation lapses and slow judicial process for the dismal conviction rate. “Only 54 were convicted in 300 rape cases. This raises a serious question mark on the roles of investigation and prosecution agencies,” said the study report released by Praja on Tuesday.
The analysis of the cases revealed that out of the total 1,016 cases which had acquittals, in 911 the police failed to prove guilt due to lack of evidence or witnesses. The other reasons were witness turning hostile (33), complainant withdrawing case (10) and benefit of doubt (62).
“Ideally, it should not take more than three months to file a charge sheet after the first information report but the analysis revealed that it takes around 11 months,” said Vaishnavi Mahurkar from Praja Foundation.
The findings also revealed that it takes around 12 months from the first hearing to the decision date.
The study also revealed that it takes around 25 months from FIR to the decision date. It takes as long as 21 months for rape cases to reach a verdict from the date of registration of the offence. A murder trial takes as long as 24 months.
“The police reforms suggested by the Supreme Court included separation of policemen conducting investigation and those involved in handling law and order,” said Nitai Mehta, Nitai Mehta, founder and managing trustee of Praja. “An order in this regard was issued by former director of police Sanjeev Dayal which is yet to be implemented.”
The findings also revealed that as on April 2017, there are only 38 permanent public prosecutors for 63 sanctioned posts while there are 31 contractual public prosecutors but 40 vacancies.