Nirbhaya Convicts Hanged, What About 1,38,642 Pending Rape Cases?
This International Day of Happiness, all of us have one common reason to rejoice – The convicts in Nirbhaya case have been finally hanged! After seven long years of wait, justice has been served and the four convicts, Akshay Thakur Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma were hanged after a Delhi Court rejected a plea seeking a stay on the execution. But beyond this celebrations await a number of questions that need to be answered.
- According to the NCRB data for the year 2018, as many as 1,38,642 rape cases were pending trial at the end of the year 2018.
- Of the 1,56,327 rape cases registered in the year 2018, the trial was completed in only 17,313 cases including 4,708 cases which ended in conviction.
- Around 99.1 percent of sexual assault cases go unreported, data from National Family Health Survey 2015-16 showed.
What About The 1,38,642 Pending Rape Cases?
According to the NCRB data for the year 2018, as many, as 1,38,642 rape cases were pending trial at the end of the year 2018. So, as you celebrate the hanging of Nirbhaya convicts, remember that there are more than a lakh girls who are yet to get justice. Despite the anti-rape laws that came into effect after Jyoti Singh’s case, the conviction rate in rape cases still stands at 27.2 percent, according to the NCRB Data 2018. Of the 1,56,327 rape cases registered in the year 2018, the trial was completed in only 17,313 cases including 4,708 cases which ended in conviction.
What About The 99.1 Percent Unreported Sexual Assault Cases?
Thanks to the sluggish justice system of India, around 99.1 percent of sexual assault cases go unreported, data from National Family Health Survey 2015-16 showed. Yes, you read it right! A whopping 99.1 percent sexual assault cases go unreported. National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma says, “Nirbhaya case is one such case which was being eyed by mostly all of us. And the fact that this case took such a long time to reach its conclusion, highlights that our law is too intricate. To eliminate these loopholes is now a task at the hands of the government. And I hope they will work on this in the time to come. I hope there’s no other Nirbhaya in this country, and god forbid – even if such a thing happens, the way to justice should be simplified since justice delayed is justice denied. This should not happen anymore.”
What About The Intricate System That Makes Everything Harder For Women?
It took seven long years, numerous petitions, candle march and protests for Nibhaya’s mother to get justice for her daughter. Enough to substantiate how intricate the judicial system in India is. Even s few hours ahead of their execution, the convicts had an option to file a plea seeking a stay on their execution, though it was rejected later. By staggering their legal options, they managed to extend the execution by around two months.
Things like lodging a police complaint against sexual assault might seem to be simple. Consider the case in Unnao– where the girl was set ablaze by people who were accused of raping her. The girl suffered 80 percent burns! Of the five men accused in the case, one was the son of Pradhan of the village.
Has the mindset changed?
After losing the Nirbhaya case, Adv AP Singh again questioned Nirbhaya’s character. He said, ” Uss karan par jao, ki raat ke saadhey baarah baje, vo ladki bahar kyun thi. Phir uss maa par jao, jise saadhey baarah baje tak yehi nahi pata tha ki kahan hai unki beti, kiske saath hai, kis haalat me hai.”
As a girl, if face to face with sexual abuse, I believe, I possess the strength to fight the legal battle. But how do I fight with the society and the prevalent mindset, which instead of catching the culprits, will question my character? How do I fight the world where I get blamed when men stare at me, try to touch me inappropriately or try to peep into my cleavage? The day people stop victim shaming, and call out male entitlement no Asha Devi will be crying for justice.
Picture Credit- Zee News
The views expressed are the author’s own.