Governments have no information about time taken by magistrates in disposing of the cases

The Centre has mooted the idea of imparting training to first class Judicial Magistrates and Metropolitan Magistrates to deal with the cases filed under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha here on Thursday, Minister of Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said the State governments and the Union Territory administrations – which were implementing the Act – did not have definite information about the time taken by the magistrates in disposing of the cases.

Pointing out that it was likely that the judicial process might not be completed within the stipulated period of 60 days from the date of its first hearing in all the cases, Ms. Tirath said the training could be conducted by the National and State judicial academies.

She said the increasing number of cases registered showed that aggrieved persons were accessing reliefs and services. Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show that a total of 5,788, 5,643 and 7,802 cases were registered under the Act, during 2007, 2008 and 2009 respectively. Andhra Pradesh, with 2,710 cases, witnessed the highest number of cases in 2009.

According to the figures tabled in the House, as many as 2,03,804 cases were reported in 2009. The offences included killing for dowry, physical assault and harassment at workplaces. However, most of the complaints received by the National Human Rights Commission related to atrocities on women by the police.

Ms. Tirath said that the advisories issued to the State governments emphasised gender sensitisation of the police personnel, minimising delays in investigation, improving the quality of investigations and setting up ‘Crime Against Women Cells' in districts. States have also been advised to increase the overall representation of women in police forces, she said.