THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as everyone has condemned the brutal rape and murder of dalit girl Jisha at Perumbavur, the nation cuts a sorry figure when it comes to the rate of conviction in crimes against women, which stands at 21.3 percent.
The situation in Kerala, which boasts of a high conviction rate of 77.8 in all cases, is also not different when it comes to crimes against women. The police cite a high rate of out-of-court settlements and victims backtracking on complaints as prime reasons for the low conviction rate. While the rate of crimes against women in the country is 56.3 percent, the rate in Kerala is 63 percent.
As per ‘Crimes in India-2014,’ the latest consolidated publication of National Crime Records Bureau available, the rate of conviction in rape cases was only 28 percent and that of attempt to rape was 14.7, even as the rate of charge-sheeting stood at 95.6 and 94 percent respectively. The conviction rate in crimes against women is far below the total conviction rate in all IPC cases that stands at 45.1 percent.
“A low conviction rate in cases pertaining to crimes against women could be because a good number of cases are compromised. Moreover, there would be lack of sufficient evidence in many rape cases,” said state police chief T.P. Senkumar.
Lawyers point out that lack of support to victims was one prime reason for the low conviction rate. “Roughly about 75 percent of the accused in crimes against women are going scot-free,” said advocate J. Sandhya, member of the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights.
She also said that the situation of cases regarding crime against children was also very pitiable. “Of the 261 cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act that came up for trial in the state, 197 were acquitted,” she said.