|Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India|
Children have been victims of various forms of violence, including hurt cases and attempted murders, with 2,455 victims falling prey to abuse in Tamil Nadu. Incidence of child sex abuse is alarming and parents must be watchful about their children at all times, Special Public Prosecutor (Coimbatore Mahila Court) R Sarojini said. As most perpetrators of child abuse are known to the victims, patents should not leave their children with relatives or strangers. The role of the police, in investigating, charging and arresting those responsible for such offences is also very important.
In 2014, 13,766 cases of rape of children were reported across India, while 3,349 cases were pending from the previous year.
Meanwhile, 8,904 cases were registered under the POCSO Act, while 820 were pending investigation from last year. A more startling statistic shows that 25,223 cases of rape were “pending trial from the previous year.”
Of the 37,519 cases sent for trial across India, trials were completed in only 5,527 cases.
Only 31 percent of the cases, or 1,717 trials, resulted in a conviction, while 68 percent of people were acquitted.
So, if my math is anywhere close to being right, the conviction rate for all reported rapes sent to trial is about 5%.
Similarly, the conviction rate for those charged under the POCSO Act stands at a meager 24.6 percent.
The authorities’ inability to use scientific methods in the investigation, including gathering of evidence, is one of the main reasons for the low rates of conviction, said K Santhakumari, president, Tamil Nadu Federation of Women Lawyers.
Investigations should be carried out in a “time-bound manner” as witness recollection of an incident, especially if they are minors, diminishes with time, she added.
Obviously police need much training in how to secure and treat a crime-scene. India also probably need more labs available to process evidence. They also need more judges to work under the POCSO Act, otherwise it is incapable of doing what it's supposed to do - speed up the conviction of rapists.