Rape cases have risen by a whopping 390% in Mumbai, to 643 in 2014-15, from 165 in 2010-11. A similar increase can also be seen in molestation cases, 347% or 1,675 in 2014-15 from 483 in 2010-11.
“In the 138 rape cases, it took seven months to file the charge sheet, 21.5 months from filing of FIR to decision date in courts, 22 convictions and 116 acquittals. Apart from shortage in police staff, a major reason for the poor conviction rate and acquittals could be poor investigations done by the force,” said an official, as reported by DNA.
An analysis of these cases shows that 144 rapes were reported in 2014-15 in South-Central Mumbai alone (Chembur, Sion Koliwada and Mahim) as compared to 40 in 2010-11.
“This is may be due to various reasons; now, people are encouraged to come forward and report the issue. The police too are more open and deal with complaints sensitively. Our study also revealed that conviction rate in rape cases is very low. In the 1980s, it was 60%, which came down to 27% in 2014,” said an official from the Praja Foundation.
In 2013, law amendments were made with respect to rape and molestation and their definitions too were changed, which resulted in more cases being registered. Even cyber-stalking is now treated as outraging one’s modesty.
“Smaller acts of obscenity have also been brought into the ambit of molestation. Other factors for the increase are, rise in population and awareness among citizens,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson and DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni.
Speaking about the low conviction rate, he added, “One of the reasons for low conviction rate is registration of technical cases in which the act is due to consent and, hence, later results in acquittal.”