Probe of 58% cases of crimes against women pending as of 2020
As of 2020, investigation of 58% cases of crimes against women and 56% cases of crimes against children were incomplete, said NGO Praja Foundation in its report titled ‘State of Policing and Law and Order in Delhi’.
“There is a dire need to increase human resources in the police force for effective policing and investigation. Reforms such as separation of investigation and law and order functions, awareness of Police Complaints Authority (PCA) and its ability to take decision on cases against atrocities by police, implementation and monitoring of special laws such as POCSO, adopting a multi-stakeholder approach for creating awareness and sensitising people to prevent sexual abuse of children, etc. can help in increasing the safety and security of Delhiites,” said Praja Foundation trustee Nitai Mehta.
Women and children “often bear the brunt of the gaps that exist in our law and order and judicial system”, the report said. Of the total cases of kidnapping and abduction (4.051), 91% (3,862 of 4,235) victims were of kidnapping of children in 2020. According to the report, of the total female victims of abduction and kidnapping (3,025 victims), 92% (2,789) victims were in the age group of 6 to 18 years.
“In 94% of the total Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (1,197) cases in 2020, the victims were girls, and from the total POCSO cases, highest cases were of rape (721) and sexual assault (376). Furthermore, while POCSO Act was enacted with the sole purpose of providing speedy justice to minors, trial of 99% of cases of ‘crime against children’ were pending, as of December 2020,” said Praja Foundation director Milind Mhaske.
The report also said that there was a reduction of 17% Indian Penal Code cases from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, of the total IPC cases investigated (2,51,333), “only in 28% of cases the chargesheet was submitted”, they said.
“Citizens, because of the pandemic, have been largely confined to the safety of their homes throughout the year. This is reflected in the fact that reported cases of major crimes in Delhi has fallen for 2020 when compared to 2019 by 17%,” said Mr. Mhaske.
Chinmoy Biswal, Delhi Police spokesperson said, “In Delhi, we register crime against children and POCSO cases promptly and take a deadline of 60 days for investigation. A majority of the 56% pending cases last year has been chargesheeted and moved to court. Understandably, there will always be cases under investigation, upon completion of which these are sent to court. Pending investigation means cases are in the process of investigation and chargesheeting.”
The police said that a major component in crimes against children are the missing children cases. “We strictly and promptly register these cases under sections of kidnapping. We keep making efforts for recovery upon which chargesheets are filed. The increased statistics doesn’t mean we are not working but it means the registration rate is high and most of these cases are in process of investigation and being chargesheeted”.
Mr. Biswal said, “POCSO cases and crime against children remain are our top priority. We have higher chargesheeting rate (99.06%) than all India (94.7%) or metro cities (96.8%) average in POCSO cases with much higher conviction rate (80%) than metro cities (42.4%) or all India (39.6%) average.”
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