Of 1 lakh pending rape cases in 2012, only 14% disposed of
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The outrage over the Mumbai gangrape has brought back into focus the need for a swift justice delivery system. Although the Centre came up with a new law promising swift justice to calm public anger after the December 16 gangrape in Delhi, government data shows it will take a while before it becomes a reality — mainly because of procedural infirmities and overburdened courts.
Statistics released by the Law Ministry show how rape cases crawl. Out of more than one lakh pending cases across the country in 2012, only around 14,700 — or 14.5 per cent — could be decided. And the conviction rate has been as poor. Only 3,563 people were convicted while more than 11,500 people were acquitted.
State-wise data shows that many other states lagged behind Delhi, which was the epicentre of last year's gangrape protests, in disposing of rape cases and registering convictions. In Delhi, out of 2,007 cases tried in 2012, 1,404 remained pending and the conviction rate was almost 15 per cent.
Most number of rape cases — 15,197 — were tried in West Bengal. The state also topped the list in the number of pending rape cases — more than 14,000. Conviction rate was as low as 0.7 per cent. In Maharashtra, 14,414 cases were tried and 13,388 remained pending. The conviction rate was 1.1 per cent.
In Madhya Pradesh, 8,425 cases out of 11,273 remained pending, with the conviction rate at 4.85 per cent. In Arunachal Pradesh, out of 548 cases, only 30 were decided and convictions were recorded only in three cases. Only Mizoram and Uttarakhand recorded a more than 20 per cent conviction rate.