Delhi tops with more than double rape cases in 2013
New Delhi, 03 July 2014: Recent government data shows that Delhi city beats at least 53 major cities of India, including metro cities, as far as rape and other crimes against women such as ‘Insult and Intent to outrage her modesty,’ ‘Dowry Death’ and ‘Cruelty by Husband or his relatives,’ are concerned. Unfortunately the ratio of such crimes is increasing very quickly and the number of some crimes like rape and molestation has become two to four folds higher than the previous year.
Data released by the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB), an agency which works under the Home Ministry, recently says that 1441 rape cases were registered in Delhi during 2013, which is more than double of registered cases in 2012. In 2012, as many as 585 rape cases were registered.
After the Dec. 16, 2012 incident of the gang-rape of a medical student in New Delhi, the government has toughened the law which deals with rape and other crimes against women. It was expected that the new law will help to turn down the ratio of such heinous crimes but this new data shows a different story.
Delhi which has about 76 lakh women population, witnessed 3069 cases of ‘Assault on Women with intent to outrage her modesty’ under Section 354 of the India Penal Code (IPC). In the previous year, only 639 cases were registered under this section.
Cases of ‘Insult to the modesty of Women’ under Section 509 of IPC saw a monumental rise with 807 cases registered in Delhi in 2013 as compared to just 181 cases registered in 2012.
Rate of crimes like kidnapping and abduction of women were also reported to be more than the previous year in Delhi. 3093 cases of kidnapping and abduction were registered in 2013, but in 2012 some 1787 cases were registered.
Cases related to ‘Cruelty by Husband or his relatives’ under Section 498A of IPC were also reported in high numbers. 2879 such cases were registered in 2013 as compared to 1870 cases registered in the previous year in Delhi.
Cases of dowry death are also rising. Compared to 2012, in 2013, 25 more cases were reported, which is the highest among any other city in the country. A total of 125 dowry death cases were registered in 2013 while it was 100 in the previous year.
In Dec. 2012, the country was shocked to hear about the horrific gang-rape of a 24-year-old medical student in New Delhi. The victim, gang-raped and severely beaten up by six persons in a moving bus, was later thrown out naked under a flyover in the freezing night of December. Her male friend was also injured. Few days later she succumbed due to her injuries and died in a hospital in Singapore.
Police arrested all the accused, including one person who was a juvenile at the time of the incident. One of them allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail during the trial. Except for the juvenile, all four were awarded the death penalty by a special court which was later also upheld by the Delhi High Court. Their appeal is still pending before the Supreme Court.
Following the massive outrage after the Dec. 16, 2012, the Central government appointed a three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India, Justice J. S. Verma, to look into the current laws which deal with rape and crimes against women and submit its recommendations to improve them.
The Verma committee had given several recommendations, including police reform and amendments to the code of criminal procedures. The committee also suggested the judiciary to take suo motu cognizance of such issues and put a set of reforms within the judiciary.
The parliament accepted most of the committee’s recommendations, incorporated them in the existing anti-rape law and rechristened it as Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. But its honest implementation on the ground is still in need of much more attention particularly when rape incidents are happening unabated.