Rise in crimes against women, children in Mumbai in 2019-2020: Praja Foundation report

The number of rape cases in Mumbai went up from 728 in 2015-2016 to 904 in 2019-2020 (a 24% increase), according to the city-based Praja Foundation report released on Thursday
The report revealed that children were victims in 61% of the rape cases in Mumbai in 2019.
The report revealed that children were victims in 61% of the rape cases in Mumbai in 2019.
Updated on Nov 27, 2020 12:38 AM IST
Copy Link
ByManish K Pathak and Charul Shah, Mumbai

The number of rape cases in Mumbai went up from 728 in 2015-2016 to 904 in 2019-2020 (a 24% increase), according to the city-based Praja Foundation report released on Thursday, which stated that there has been an increase in crimes against women and children.

A total of 2,145 molestation cases were registered in 2015-2016, as against 2,677 in 2019-2020, an increase of 25%. The report stated that children were victims in 61% of the rape cases in Mumbai in 2019.

According to the report, probes in 67% of the 15,654 crimes against women, and 73% of the 11,268 crimes against children were pending. It also stated that 61% investigations (3,039 cases) under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were pending.

The report also stated similar pendency across courts in Mumbai — 94% of the 23,791 cases related to crimes against women were pending in courts, while 92% of the 8,126 cases of crime against children were pending in courts. 89% of the 4,250 cases under POCSO Act, too, was pending in courts, stated the report. Also, the report stated that of the 222 cases tried in 2019, only 20% were finished within a year. Section 35 of the POCSO Act states that the court should complete the trial within one year of cognisance of the offence.

“There are multiple reasons for trials to be delayed. Increase in cases and shortage of police personnel are among them,” said Jennifer Spencer, project coordinator at Praja Foundation.

Former chief public prosecutor of Mumbai sessions court, Kalpana Chavan, said that cases gets delayed majorly because courts are overburdened. “There are lots of factors responsible for delay. Sometimes, witnesses are not available or cannot come on a particular date. Or, at times, either the public prosecutor or defence lawyers are not available, or the courts could be busy in some other cases. There is no single factor for delay in conducting trials,” Chavan said.

Similarly, Chavan pointed out multiple factors responsible for low conviction rate. “In a criminal case, the most important thing is preparation of a case and case papers of investigation. The police officer has to make sure that he has prepared all documents as per mandatory provisions. At times, for technical reasons, the accused gets the benefit of doubt,” Chavan said.

The key point is punchnama in criminal trials. According to the Indian law, the investigating officer has to seize a piece of evidence in front of an independent witness that are referred as punchas and a document is prepared under their signature on how a piece of evidence is collected from the scene of offence. If this is faulty, the process of collection of evidence is invalidated, Chavan pointed out.

While talking on crimes against woman, Chavan said, Many of the cases filed are cases of relationship went wrong. “There is a rise in cases wherein a relationship went wrong and women file a complaint of rape out of revenge. These kind of cases result in acquittal as the parties at the end make a settlement out of court,” Chavan said.

Flavia Agnes, a women’s rights lawyer and pioneer of the women’s movement in India focused on issues of gender and law reforms, said, “Trial is the last part of the journey which starts after a year or two. And by that time, everything is settled. In most cases, investigation is not done properly, which results in lower conviction rates.”

The victim faces so many problems at the time when a case is registered, and also during the trial. But there is no one to support them, said Agnes.

“There is not support system for the victim after the incident. We need to provide support to the victims, which we do not have. The support system should be improved,” said Flavia.

RC Chavan, former judge, Bombay high court (HC), who joined the judiciary in March 1976 as a civil judge (junior division) and judicial magistrate first class and went on to become a high court judge in 2005, said that faulty investigation is one of the key reason for low conviction rate.

“The police is always under pressure during the investigation. In such circumstances, judiciary has to play an active role. The magistrate has a power to reject the charge sheet filed by the investigating officer. The power is not used much, because of which, the faulty charge sheet is accepted and taken further,” Chavan said.

Chavan said that a judge has to see at the preliminary stage itself if there is evidence enough to prosecute the accused or if something is missing. “Rejection of charge sheet would give an opportunity to the police to strengthen the case. This will help in improving conviction rate,” Chavan added.

On the delay in judicial system, Chavan said, “The major reason is service of summons to the witnesses. The police are overburdened and at times they cannot serve the summons to the witnesses on time, which delays the trial. Most of the court’s time wasted in this and they are just made to wait for either prosecution of defence to come up for hearing. The judiciary is, however, in process of developing a system that can solve the problem in future.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Policemen overpower Zameer Ahmed's supporter who poured kerosene oil on himself. 

    Cong MLA Zameer Ahmed's supporter tries to set himself on fire to protest raids

    Chaos erupted in Bengaluru after a supporter of Congress MLA Zameer Ahmed poured kerosene over himself and attempted self-immolation, news agency ANI reported. The self-immolation bid was carried out in protest against the raids by Karnataka Anti-Corruption Bureau at five locations belonging to the Congresss MLA following a report of the Enforcement Directorate on alleged disproportionate assets.

  • IAS officer J Manjunath was suspended, days after being transferred from the post of Bengaluru urban district deputy commissioner (DC). (File image)

    Bengaluru IAS officer Manjunath arrested in bribery case. Here's why

    Karnataka Government on Monday suspended IAS officer J Manjunath, former DC of Bengaluru Urban, after Manjunath was arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau in a bribery case. Manjunath was arrested by the ACB, four days after he was transferred from the post of Bengaluru urban district deputy commissioner. IPS officer Amrit Paul was also suspended after being arrested by CID for his alleged role in the PSI recruitment scam case.

  • Congress leader Siddaramaiah.

    Police recruitment case: Siddaramaiah demands Karnataka minister's resignation

    Following the arrest of IPS officer Amrit Paul for his alleged role in the police sub-inspectors recruitment scam, the Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah on Tuesday demanded the resignation of state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. Paul was arrested by Crime Investigation Department for his alleged role in the PSI recruitment scam case on Monday. Karnataka Government on Monday also suspended Paul following his arrest.

  • The victim H Umendar, an engineer from a private firm was in Chennai with his wife and other family members . (File picture)

    Chennai: Cab driver kills techie after argument over OTP, number of passengers

    A cab driver in Chennai was arrested on Tuesday for beating a 34-year-old man to death over the number of passengers entering the cab and the one-time password (OTP) required before starting a trip. They had booked a cab after they came out of a mall in Navalur after watching a movie on Sunday around 3:30 pm. Onlookers apprehended the cab driver until the police arrived. The cab driver hails from Salem district.

  • The man had been called by the police over a domestic violence complaint when he lost his temper and began delivering blows to the cop.

    Video: UP cop thrashed at police station by man accused of domestic violence

    A man was seen thrashing a cop inside a police station premises in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri. According to news agency ANI, the man had been called by the police over a domestic violence complaint when he lost his temper and began delivering blows to the cop. An official told ANI that the family cited his ill mental health as the reason behind his violent behaviour. The man has been booked and detained, the official added.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, July 05, 2022