The Telegraph
Saturday , January 4 , 2014
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20-day rape charge rule

New Delhi, Jan. 3: Delhi police commissioner B.S. Bassi today issued an order saying chargesheets in rape cases must be filed within 20 days, having come under fire for failing to curb the spurt in crimes against women since the December 16, 2012, gang rape.

The police have so far had 90 days to file such chargesheets. Bassi made it clear that officers probing rape cases would be pulled up from now on if they failed to make the 20-day deadline.

“Crimes against women have always been a cause of concern for Delhi police. Keeping in mind the December 16 incident, we have taken several new measures. It is our top priority to bring to book those guilty of crimes against women. Today we have issued an order stating that in rape cases chargesheets must be filed within 20 days of arrest,” said Bassi during the annual review of the force.

“Through fast-track investigation, we want to make sure that the victim gets justice at the earliest since this will act as a deterrent to potential offenders.”

According to figures presented by the police chief, complaints of rape went up by 129 per cent in 2013 compared to the 2012 figures, while cases of molestation rose by an alarming 412 per cent.

The overall crime graph in the capital has gone up by 40 per cent.

As many as 1,559 rape cases were reported in 2013 compared to 680 in 2012. Molestation cases went up from 653 in 2012 to 3347 last year.

If chargesheets are not filed within the stipulated time, the special CP (law and order) and the special CP (crime) would have to be apprised on reasons for the delay and action would follow, Bassi said.

Attributing the rise in numbers to more women reporting such cases, he said people were not turned away from police stations. The December 16 incident had emboldened many to ignore social stigma and lodge complaints, he said.