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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crimes against women up 39% in a yr

Lawyers Say Trials Must Be Time Bound

Lucknow: By the time you will finish reading this report, at least one woman would have been raped, molested, harassed or even murdered somewhere in India. An unprecedented increase of 39% has been witnessed in crimes against women in 2011 as compared to the previous year. While cases of molestation have gone up by 5.7%, rapes have shot up by 9% — highest-ever annual jump since independence. 
    If one takes the decadal figures between 2001 and 2011, the jump in crimes against women is staggering — almost 100%. Delhi and UP have the dubious distinction of having the highest increase in the cases of rape between 2010 and 2011 — 12%. Maharashtra was a distant second with a 
6% increase. West Bengal, with 2,363 cases, topped the list of states in terms of total rape cases though the increase was a little over 2%. 
    While there is a clamor for capital punishment for rapists, legal experts believe that even existing laws are 
sufficient if time-bound trial is introduced. 
    "There is death penalty for murders. But it hardly serves as a deterrent for any murderer. This is because, he is sure that by the time the case will be decided, if at all, he would have died a natural death due to old age," said lawyer I B Singh, who has handled some of the most high
profile cases pending before the Allahabad high court. "It is not about the quantum and nature of punishment but the time taken to deliver justice that matters." He said the time limit for investigation and trial in crimes against women would have a multipronged impact on the entire justice delivery system. 
    "Time-bound trials will 
virtually compel the police to maintain the quality of investigations that they are expected to," said Atul Verma, another lawyer. "Suppose a rape case trial concludes within three months of the incident, the investigating officer will ensure that the accused is convicted. Otherwise once reported in the media, he will have a tough time facing his bosses and the public," he said. 
    "Today there are cases where IOs have retired from police services and the trials are still continuing. In over 70% of the cases, by the time the trial gains momentum in court, the IO is transferred elsewhere." 

In B'lore, 17 minors raped in 8 months 
Eight months, 17 children raped. That's an average of two chilling crimes every month, a peak in Bangalore's record of child rape cases. The statistics are for April to December 2012. 
    There's a bigger shock in store: These are only figures from the Child Welfare Committee, a quasi-judicial body. City police records show 61 rape cases till August 2012, but there's no break-up of how many of these were children. 
    Children are being raped at places once considered safe, and by those considered to be their protectors. School principals, caretakers, baby sitters, teachers and even fathers. With one victim forced to leave the city after she was raped by a school bus attendant, the question arises: Where are our children safe? TNN


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