The number of cases of offences against women registered until October 15 this year is already more than the total cases registered last year. The number of rape cases has doubled since last year. Until October 15, 2013, 1,330 rape cases have been lodged as against 590 registered during the same period last year. Similarly, cases of molestation and eve-teasing have also gone up manifold compared to last year. While 727 molestation cases were registered in 2012, the number this year until October 15 is 2,844.
Eve-teasing cases too have witnessed a three-fold jump from 236 last year to 793 this year.
While 1,750 cases of kidnapping women were lodged until October 15, last year, over 2,900 cases have come to fore this year during the same period. Cases of dowry death and cruelty against women have also increased significantly — 2,487 women have been subjected to cruelty by husbands and in-laws and 123 women have been killed over dowry so far this year. The data was submitted during the hearing of a PIL, demanding probe by a special team into an alleged incident of policemen beating up Aam Aadmi Party members during a protest against non-registration of an FIR in a rape case.
After analysing the figures, the bench noted that women across the country suffered silently even as crimes against them grew over the last five years. "They have been suffering silently and only a few cases are coming up. Unfortunately, some memories are bad. Fifteen years ago, in Madhya Pradesh, a student protested against some rowdy elements belonging to a rich family and she was crushed by a jeep. Every day, in trains and buses, girls are subjected to molestation," the bench led by Justice G S Singhvi said.
"Why is it happening in the last few years? Why are people losing confidence? It did not happen 10 years ago. Every day, girls travelling in buses are subjected to molestation. Women continue to suffer," the bench said. It continued, "We remember Nirbhaya (December 16 rape victim) but the memories of the earlier incidents are not good and such cases happened earlier also. People are coming out on streets as they are not satisfied and their rights are not protected by government bodies." The bench has reserved its verdict on the PIL.
Statistics released recently by the Law Ministry showed how hearing in rape cases too is crawling. Of over a lakh pending cases across the country in 2012, only around 14,700 — or 14.5 per cent - have been decided. And the conviction rate too is poor. Only 3,563 people were convicted while over 11,500 people were acquitted.