New Delhi: Low coviction rate and lack of better policing are two major reasons for rape cases being reported at an alarming frenquency in Delhi, say experts.
Citing rape to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the country, they say it takes an enormous amount of time to bring to book the guilty.
According to police records, over 400 rape cases have been reported in the capital in the year 2010 alone.
"There is a problem in policing here. Police do not register crime freely and there is rarely adequate investigation done in cases of molestation," says Kiran Bedi, India's first woman IPS officer.
"People do not become rapists all of a sudden. Rapists have a history in molestation and other petty crimes. But since complaints against them are not registered by police early on, they go on to become bigger criminals and rapists," she says.
The conviction rate in rape and molestation cases in India is a dismal 27 per cent. Long drawn trials and pressure on the families of victims are some of the major reasons for this. Police norms and behaviour are a deterrent to many rape victims who do not lodge any complaint against the crime at all, say experts
Senior CPM politburo member Brinda Karat favours "time bound judicial process" to deal with rape cases.
"Conviction rate in rape cases and policing in general is poor in Delhi. It can be better. Also, we need more social awareness not only in Delhi but all over the country against crime against women," she says.
The Delhi Women's Commission has written a letter to the Chief Justice of India to set up fast track courts for rape cases.
"We have requested the CJI to deliver the verdict in a rape case within six months through fast track courts. It will be a deterrent for the criminals," says its chief Barkha Singh.
The commission is also set to launch an awareness programme through its 'Mahila Panchayats' to raise awareness regarding crimes against women in the capital and ask people to help the victims of molestation and rape.
"We are also trying to get cars with tinted glasses banned in the city. Such vehicles are breeding grounds for crime while on the move," adds Singh.
Last week, a teenage girl was abducted and gang raped in a moving vehicle after she protested their lewd remarks in the Sultanpuri area of northwest Delhi.
Days earlier, a BPO employee was abducted and raped by four men in south Delhi and a 22-year-old woman was abducted and raped by six men in northeast Delhi.
Psychiatrist Samir Parikh blames the increasing number of rapes on the mentality of "getting away with anything".
"The rising number of cases suggest that the fear of consequence of action is on decline and the perception of 'get away with anything' is growing. Why is it that in Delhi young girls in buses don't find any support when they are harassed?" he asks.
Kiran Bedi, who has set up her own NGO says that in matters relating to crime against women, the bail should be conditional.
"Guarantee should be high in case of bail in rape cases and in case of repeat crimes, the guarantor should also be punished," adds Bedi.