Punjab shows dismally low conviction of accused in rape cases, over 70% acquitted each year since 2015https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/punjab-shows-dismally-low-conviction-of-accused-in-rape-cases-over-70-percent-acquitted-each-year-since-2015-6110001/

Punjab shows dismally low conviction of accused in rape cases, over 70% acquitted each year since 2015

As per the Punjab police, the complaints involving sexual violence against women and girl children are reported late, which leads to loss of crucial evidence, like forensic and medical evidence.

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As many as 5139 cases of crimes against women under various provisions of law were registered in Punjab in 2014, 5036 in 2015, 4793 in 2016, 4357 in 2017 and 5058 in 2018.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has said the conviction rate in the rape cases in Punjab is dismally low and also rapped the Haryana Government for not divulging the data to court in its status report.

As per information submitted before the court, the conviction rate in the rape cases has never crossed 30 per cent mark since 2015 in Punjab – meaning the accused are acquitted in over 70 per cent cases registered under Section 376 and other related provisions of IPC. 5139 cases of crimes against women under various provisions of law were registered in the state in 2014, 5036 in 2015, 4793 in 2016, 4357 in 2017 and 5058 in 2018.

However, what is startling is the conviction rate in the cases taken to court by the police for trial. As per the official data, the conviction rate in the rape cases in 2014 was 34.74 per cent. It was 29.72 per cent in 2015, 27.60 per cent in 2016, 27.21 per cent in 2017 and 27.80 per cent in 2018.

As per the Punjab police, the complaints involving sexual violence against women and girl children are reported late, which leads to loss of crucial evidence, like forensic and medical evidence. A total number of 34899 CCTV cameras have been installed at various vantage points in the State of Punjab to prevent crimes including against women, as per the official filing before High Court.

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While Haryana has not provided any data regarding rape cases before the court, it has said that during the year 2018-19, 5682 complaints under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, were received in the state. The division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Harinder Singh Sidhu in an order released Thursday said, “We deprecate the attitude of the State of Haryana in not divulging the details in the status report and the short reply. Though sufficient number of CCTV cameras have been installed, but the crime detection against women is still very low”.

It has now directed the police in both states to strictly implement the steps being taken to reduce the cases relating to sexual violence or assault on women and children, in order to provide complete safety and security to the women/children in the States.