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Sex assault cases

New Delhi, Feb. 4: Six fast-track courts set up in Delhi in early January to try sexual assault cases have acquitted the accused in nearly 50 per cent cases.

As many as 27 cases have been disposed of in as many days and 14 persons acquitted on grounds of lack of evidence and fabricated allegations.

The courts have held that in some cases the victims willingly accompanied the accused, while others made “unreliable and inconsistent” statements or turned hostile.

In one case, a court observed that “considering the nature of the testimonies of the victims in rape cases, sometimes, it has become futile to carry on the case.”

Another court acquitted two persons booked for kidnapping and raping a minor girl in north Delhi last year. It said: “There is not even a slight indication that the accused had lured her to accompany them.”

A third court disposed of five cases, acquitting all accused for lack of evidence. In one case, the court ruled: “It would not be out of place to mention here that today there is a hue and cry being raised everywhere that courts are not convicting those accused of rape.

“However, no man accused of rape can be convicted if the witnesses do not support the prosecution’s case.”

An officer said faulty investigations by the police and delay in filing chargesheets often created problems for the prosecution, leading to acquittal of the accused for lack of evidence.

“In some cases, the victims turn hostile fearing for their personal safety and of their family members,” he said.

The fast-track courts were set up by Delhi High Court early last month in the wake of the gang rape of a paramedical student in a moving bus. She later died in a Singapore hospital.

A senior police officer said there were 889 cases of rape pending in the session courts as on July 1, 2012. All of them are being transferred to these six fast-track courts, which will also try new cases.