Published on December 10th, 20150
Mumbai clocks in 300% rise in crimes against women
A White paper recently released by the Praja Foundation reveals South Mumbai is perceived most unsafe, conviction rates are dismally low.
by The Editors | firstname.lastname@example.org
Even as the city grapples with rising criminal activity, a very grim picture about crimes against women has surfaced in Mumbai. According to a research paper released by the city-based Praja Foundation, there has been a staggering 390% rise in rapes from the year 2011 to 2014, while molestation cases have gone up by 347% in the same period.
The report analysed data gathered under RTI (Right to Information) and found that Mumbai has lost its ‘safe city’ tag, especially for women. “Within a span of four years (2010-11 to 2014-15), reporting of rape cases has increased to 390% and molestation to 347%. From 2013-14 to 2014-15, the cases of rape and molestation have gone up by 49% and 39% respectively. Conviction for rape was just 27%,” the report states.
Nitai Mehta, Founder and Managing Trustee of Praja Foundation observes, “In serious offence cases, particularly rape, chargesheets are filed under the direction responsibility of a senior officer of the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, and prosecuted only when there is enough evidence and witnesses to prosecute the accused. Still the conviction rates are low.”
To further understand the issue and find solutions, Praja initiated a study to understand the life cycle of a serious offense case in the first court of trial, various stages that it goes through and its outcome. The study confined it to Sessions Courts of Mumbai with the understanding that as per the law, most of the serious offences are tried in these courts. Of the 550 cases studied so far, only 127 were convicted and even in them the conviction in 34 cases was on a lesser offence; there was no perjury initiated when witness turned hostile; eight months were taken to file charges for rape cases.
Mehta added, “Preliminary findings of the study highlights, a) Failure in investigation, b) Weak prosecution, c)and weak reformative systems. Based on the report, conviction of Class II serious offences (i.e. crime against body) was as low as 9% in 2014.”
On the whole, South Mumbai remains the area where registered crime is most rampant (9,203 cases). Alarmingly, the report shows that South Central Mumbai have registered most number of rape cases for the last five years whereas South Mumbai has the highest number of reported crimes (9,203) in 2014-15.
(Image is used for representational purpose only)