Rape cases in Delhi have almost doubled in 2013 as compared to last year while molestation has gone up by nearly four times during the same period.

These stark facts were revealed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The capital recorded 1,330 rape incidents till October 15 this year as against 706 in 2012. Molestation cases have gone up from 727 in 2012 to 2,844.

Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the Delhi Government, furnished details of crimes against women in the Capital from 2009 till October 15 this year.

The city saw a phenomenal increase not only in rapes and molestation but other crimes too. Eve-teasing cases had gone up from 238 in 2009 to 793 this year while kidnapping/abduction of women has risen from 1,655 in 2009 to 2,906 this year.

The figures of offences relating to cruelty by husbands and in-laws (under Section 498-A/406 IPC) have gone up from 1,297 cases in 2009 to 2,487 in 2013. Cases under the Dowry Prohibition Act are up from 6 in 2009 to 14 this year. Only dowry death cases had come down from 141 in 2009 to 123 this year.

Taking note of the statistics, a three-judge bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi, Shiva Kirti Singh and C. Nagappan expressed concern over the rising number of crimes against women.

Justice Singhvi told the ASG that “women are not safe and even subjected to molestation while travelling in buses.” He asked the ASG why the people in recent years had lost confidence in governments and come out on the streets in protest.

The bench was hearing a writ petition filed by Beenu Rawat and 18 others seeking a probe by a special investigation team into the lathi-charge on Aam Admi Party workers who went to the police station seeking a copy of an FIR relating to registration of a rape case.

Justice Singhvi asked: “Why is it {such protests} happening in the last few years? Why are people losing confidence? It did not happen 10 years ago. Crime against women has come to the forefront only in the last five years.”

The judge said women “used to suffer silently and they still continue to do so except in a few cases when there have been protests and it has come out in the open.”

“The December 16, 2012 gang-rape incident is not an isolated incident and such type of offences was committed in the past also. Everyday girls travelling in buses are subjected to molestation. Women continue to suffer,” Justice Singhvi said.

Appearing for the petitioners, senior counsel Shanti Bhushan insisted on an SIT probe on the attack by the police on those protesting against the non-registration of an FIR in a rape case.

The ASG said in the garb of helping a rape victim, some of the protesters started pelting stones at the building windows and vehicles and damaged public property.

The police used force only to expel the rowdy and violent protestors from the police station and there was no use of excessive force, he said.

The arrest of the accused persons was not in violation of the principles of law, the ASG added.

The bench, while reserving its order, asked Mr. Bhushan and the ASG to give the names of two independent persons each in a sealed cover for the consideration of the court in the event of an order for an SIT probe.

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