Based on data collected for 2012-15, it was revealed that out of 386 cases disposed of in Delhi and Mumbai, 24% ended in conviction and 78% were acquittals
under various laws, advocate Soumya Bhaumik presented the Kerala data as a case study based on a scrutiny of district court judgements.
“One of the major reasons for acquittal has been the fact that the accused has married the victim girl after registration of offence. Half of the victim girls were of the age group of 17 years. Figures also show that those who were below 15 at the time of offence have also married the accused. This projects a worrisome scenario as it is possible that they may have married as minors and that is a violation of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006,” Bhaumik pointed. “The other major concern is that after the registration of crime there is considerable delay in the com- mencement of trial, and it is in this intervening period that marriages have happened (alleged accused have been released on bail),” he added.
Sharing case studies, Bhaumik said, “It is recorded in one of the judgment that accused married the victim girl after she attained majority and they have children also. In another case, accused who happened to be victim girl’s stepbrother is now husband of the victim girl.” He added there was a need to follow-up on these cases to establish couples are leading a happy married life or there are cases where the accused person who married the survivor has abandoned the victim girl.
Another study on the implementation of Pocso in Delhi and Mumbai, steered by HAQ: