Prompt action will bring respect for law: Shinde

Says crime against women and weaker sections needs to be curbed with an iron hand

GN Bureau | January 5, 2013



Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said that there is an urgent need for identifying challenges in the whole criminal justice system so that trials of cases against weaker sections, especially women, are concluded early and guilty is punished in time bound manner.

"Prompt action against all offenders of crime will alone bring about the respect for law," he said, while addressing a conference of states' director general of police (DGP) to discuss issues regarding crime against women and atrocities on scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), here on Friday. 

"These types of incidences and offences against women and weaker sections of society are unacceptable to our democracy. This needs to be curbed with an iron hand. We need an appraisal of the entire system- the role of all our stakeholders, the effectiveness of our laws and enforcement," he added. Moreover, he said, we need to increase our sensitivity starting at the school levels. 

Even after 65 years of independence and after numerous legislation, the rate of crime and against women and against SCs and STs has not declined.  The number of crime is showing an upward trend. This only shows that legislation is just one part of the solution, but the principle challenge lies in implementation.

Citing data on crime against women, he said that in  2009, 2,38,404 cases were registerd, 1,62,294 cases chargesheeted and just 27,972 convicted. In 2010 and 2011,  the numbers were 2,13,500, 1,72,433, 30,270 and 2,28,650, 1,78,849, 30,266, respectively. 

He said that the government as a whole needs to introspect whether we have become indifferent or lethargic in taking prompt action against offenders. 

R K Singh, home secretary, urged DGPs to get strict in registering cases against  women and weaker sections of the society. "A person from middle class consider himself lucky if he manages to get an FIR registered at a police station. Imagine the ordeal of women and other weaker sections. 

"Not registering such a case is violation of law. Besides, the criminal procedure code provides three months time for filing charge sheet. We have to follow that." 

Appealing to the senior cops, he said that there is a need for putting a system in place where in a DGP, along with district magistrates and  other key officials, assess the situation on a weekly basis.

Krishna Teerath, union minister of women and child welfare, proposed a compulsory training of cops to sensitise them on issues related with women and weaker sections. She said this could be  made part of their ACR and a pre-requisite for promotion.

Supporting her proposition, Kumari Shelaja, union minister for social justice and empowerment, said there is a need to sensitise cops  and also introduce changes in existing legislation so as to curb crime against women. 

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