Hyderabad: In the city, on an average, 10 rapes are reported every month, but less than three per cent of the accused have been convicted so far. Police and legal experts attribute the low conviction rate to victims settling for a compromise and sometimes turning hostile due to peer pressure or social stigma.
Since 2009, the city, both Cyberabad and Hyderabad commissionerates put together, logged 284 rape cases. Ironically, 30 cases have been registered in the first three months of 2011 alone.
Of the 284 cases, chargesheets have been filed in 147 cases and trial has begun in only 58 cases. Worse still, culprits have been convicted in only seven cases.
Even though trial in rape cases are done on fast-track basis, the conviction rate still remains very low. According to police, most rape cases end up in a compromise.
According to an inspector of Alwal zone, where a significant number of rape cases have been registered in the last few years, most rape cases are reported to settle scores with men who sexually exploit the victim by promising to marry them. “In most such cases, the issue gets settled when the man marries the victim or offers sufficient compensation,” the inspector said.
The other kind of complaints received are when a victim accidentally gets caught in the act by a family member or an acquaintance. In such incidents, to save themselves, women allege rape and in such cases also either they end in marriage or the complainant turning hostile.
Police claim very few of the brutal physical assault kind of rape cases have been reported.
Some of the victims also back off due to the explicit nature of medical examinations involved.
As the complainants turn hostile due to various reasons, including peer pressure and social stigma, sometimes investigating officers record statement of the victim before a magistrate under section 164 of CrPC. However, in several instances, victims turn hostile despite giving such a statement. Even though police can prosecute the victim for such a violation, on humanitarian grounds it is never done. TOI