Pegging "known rapists" to 97% is escaping: Justice Mehra tells Police

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Justice Mehra criticises Delhi Police
New Delhi, Oct 3: By saying this, what does the police actually want to prove? - asked retired Delhi High Court Justice Usha Mehra to the former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar's claim that 97% of rapists in Delhi were known to their victims. "Such claims gave a "wrong perception" that police cannot stop such crimes," she believes.

ET reported that the Home Ministry has finally made public the Justice Mehra Commission report that inquired into the lapses leading to the incident as well as the Action Taken Report (ATR) on its recommendations, just days after the court verdict in the Delhi gang-rape case sentencing all accused to death.

Known persons are just 41% and it is unfair to peg them at 97%, the report said

The report already criticised Delhi Police for being evasive in lodging rape cases, and now, Justice Mehra also critised and dismissed the long-held police defence that they cannot stop all rape cases in the capital since almost 97% of the offenders are known to the victims.

Kumar's claim that in all the rape cases (except 26) in 2012 accused were known to the victim and this makes prevention of such crimes comparatively more difficult, was considered an escape route.

"Claims of the Police Commissioner in a press conference that 97% of the offenders of sexual assault were known the victims cannot be said to be correct. It gives a wrong perception to the public at large that rapes are committed by known persons and police cannot check those incidents," the report says.

Justice Mehra based her argument on police figures for the year 2012 that said out of 706 cases of rape, 59 were committed by relatives, in 217 cases the accused were either the victim's lover, friend or a co-worker and categorized 207 other accused as "neighbour" of the victim and 197 simply as "other known persons".

Justice Mehra said it was not possible to know if accused in the last category were actually known to the victim. "Similarly in these days of nuclear families, we generally do not know our neighbours. Hence, neighbours and 'other known persons' cannot be counted as known persons, who are just 41% and it is unfair to peg them at 97%," the report said.

OneIndia News

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