Karnataka's new low: One in 100 sexual assaults gets convicted
Reports of alleged mass molestations in Bengaluru on New Year's Eve shocked the nation. More shockingly, a mere 1.3% of the 5112 cases registered in Karnataka in 2015 under Indian Penal Code Section-354 (IPC) led to a conviction. Section-354 includes assault on women with an intention to outrage her modesty. 9,118 people were arrested for sexual assault of which only 107 (1.2%) were convicted.
What are crimes against women?
Crimes against women differ from general crimes like murder, robbery, cheating, etc., as they are directed specifically against women. Such crimes include rape, dowry deaths, cruelty by husbands/in-laws, sexual harassment, etc. These crimes are broadly classified into two categories -- those under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and those under Special & Local Laws (SLL).
Incidents of crime against women in India
Nearly 3.4 lakh cases of crime against women (under IPC and SLL) were reported in 2014, a 9.2% increase from 3.1 lakh cases in 2013, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Such crimes have risen steadily with 2.1 lakh cases registered in 2010, 2.3 lakh in 2011 and 2.4 lakh in 2012. The rate of reported crimes against women in 2014 was 56.3.
Women in India are not getting any safer
The number of cases of crimes against women has increased 58.3% over five years, from 2.1 lakh in 2010 to 3.4 lakh in 2014.
One in 10 sexual assault cases get convicted in India
Nationwide numbers, though not good, are ten times better than Karnataka's. In 2015, 82,422 sexual assault cases were registered and 8,408 (10%) ended in conviction. Number of cases jumped 92% to 82,422 in 2015 from 42,968 in 2011, while conviction rates decreased to 10% from 16%. Tougher laws introduced after the 2012 Delhi Nirbhaya gang rape case could explain the increase in reported crimes.
Maharashtra records highest number of sexual assault cases
In 2015, 11,713 cases of sexual assault were reported in Maharashtra, the highest in India. Madhya Pradesh follows with 8,049 cases while Uttar Pradesh comes third with 7,885.
Conviction rate for crimes under IPC section-509 declines
There has been a 33 percentage point decrease in the conviction rate of cases registered under IPC Section-509 -- Insult to modesty of women - over 5 years. These include cases and obscene gestures, indecent body language, lewd comments etc. against women. In 2015, out of 8,685 registered cases, only 870 (10%) led to conviction. The year 2011 recorded a 43% conviction rate.
Conviction rate in Karnataka under Section-509 just 5%
In 2015, of the 154 cases registered under IPC Section-509 in Karnataka, only seven (5%) led to a conviction. 153 people were arrested while only nine (6%) were convicted.