New Delhi: Despite strict laws in favour of women in India, the crime and violence against them refuses to decline and are rather on the rise. According to experts, it is not the law but the law enforcement mechanism has failed to ensure women’s safety in the country.

An eminent Supreme Court lawyer Kamini Jaiswal also feels that there is a flaw in the law enforcement system. She said that just by tightening the law and giving verdict will not help in altering the present situation.

“Until the criminalisation of politics does not stop and the police do not become independent, we cannot see any dropdown in the rising rate of crime against women in India,” she said adding “if the authority which enforces law is from a criminal background then they will naturally protect the criminals. The police, therefore, should be free from the influence of government and politicians.”

Further, she said, it cannot be denied that efforts have been made to prevent crime against women.

The first attempt in this direction was made after the decision by the Apex Court in the 1972 Mathura rape case when the accused policemen were acquitted.

Reversing the High Court’s order, the SC judges opined that as there were no visible injury marks on the victim’s body, she must have given her consent. And in the absence of any evidence to prove that there was no consent by girl, the SC acquitted the accused.

The Mathura rape case forced women's organisation to ask for reforms in the criminal law dealing with rape.

Hence, in 1983, the government passed the Criminal Law (Amendment Act), which states that it is the responsibility of the victim to prove the rape. If the victim says that there has been no consent from her side, then the court has to proceed accordingly. Likewise, there were many amendments made in the following years. The court has also put a ban discouraging the lawyers from asking questions to the victim related to her character in the court.

The Supreme Court has also passed an order that the accused can also be punished only on the statement of the victim.

Despite all these landmark orders and amendments, the crime rate is increasing and there has been no improvement in the conviction process of the criminals.

In this regard, Nagendra Rai, former Justice of Patna High Court said, “The main reason for no downfall in the increasing crime rate is the delay in the trial.” He added that for sensational crimes like rape, there should be an early investigation and prompt trial.

In such cases, the verdict should be announced within six months, he added.

JPN/Bureau