As a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula, Haryana, sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years imprisonment, 15 years after the case was registered, we take a look at the country’s record in disposing cases of rape. Nagaland and Mizoram had the best conviction rates at 72.7 per cent and 70.6 per cent, respectively, in 2015, the year for which the latest data were available.
On the other hand, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat reported the worst figures at seven per cent and 10.1 per cent, respectively.
As many as 278,886 cases of rape have been reported in India over the past 10 years under Section 376 of the IPC. The conviction rate in Haryana stood at 24.7 per cent, the lowest in a decade after 2011 (23.4 per cent).
“The declining conviction rate in rape cases means lesser number of registered cases could be proved in court and this gives rise to the suspicion that maybe false case, are being registered,” said Anant Kumar Asthana, a Delhi-based activist and lawyer.
“But it could also mean that police is not conducting a proper investigation or that victims are not getting quality legal representation during trials.
Whatever may be the reason, declining conviction causes concern and must be examined for possible reasons,” Asthana added.
“Stringent implementation of laws and strict policing will help, but real change will come only when abusers and rapists are consistently convicted, survivors are not doubted, judged or shamed,” said Preethi Pinto, program coordinator on prevention of violence against women and children at Mumbai-based SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action).
Crime Records Bureau and IndiaSpend