Hyderabad: As Nirbhaya’s family await justice and Disha’s attackers killed, senior advocates say that those responsible for justice delay it.

Telangana police killed the four accused in the Hyderabad vet Disha’s rape and murder in an alleged encounter. While the Telangana police retaliated, taking the law into their hands in the case of Disha, Nirbhaya’s family is still waiting for justice, seven years after the incident. Speedy justice from the judiciary remains a distant dream for rape victims in the country.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) National Crime Report, in 2017 out of 46,984 registered rape cases, only 5,855 cases were convicted. Though 86.6% of the cases were charge-sheeted, the conviction rate is a mere 32.2%.

Telangana High Court advocate Vishnu Vardhan, Bar Council of India member, told NewsMeter that even Special Courts take a minimum of three to six months for disposing of cases. “From the date of admission, the Court must hold a continuous hearing. If the accused goes to the Supreme Court, the trial should be completed on the date of the first hearing itself,” he adds.

Reacting to the encounter killing of Disha’s rapists, advocate Vardhan said, “Maybe, we can justify the Telangana police’s act by calling it as an attempt for self-defence. However, police have no right to take the law into their hands. They can only demand a speedy trial.”

Senior advocate C Mallesh Rao told NewsMeter, “In all the rape cases in India, the investigating agencies are taking a lot of time for no particular reason. If the police file the charge sheet immediately and courts finish the trial within weeks, the memory of the witness will be fresh. With these, there will be fewer chances to destroy evidence, and hence the conviction rate will increase.” He added that quick trial is the only way towards instant justice for rape victims.

As per NCRB, by the end of 2017, there were 14,406 pending rape cases for investigation in the country. While 1,012 claims were dismissed due to insufficient evidence, 30 cases were abated during the investigation.

Mallesh Rao said that even after conviction, there is a delay in executing the verdict. “This, we can see in Nirbhaya’s case. In the name of appeal and trial, the convicts are enjoying their life. Supreme Court takes years to decide on an appeal. A quick trial is the only solution for instant justice. The President of India has to make a quick decision on appeals as well.”

He added that there have been cases were police filed the charge sheet within 24 hours, and courts completing the trial within ten days. “However, even in CBI cases, the conviction is only two per cent. In some cases, they will ask the enquiry of a judicial commission, and this will kill more time. The persons who are responsible for delivering justice are delaying the process,” the senior advocate noted.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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