The national crime records bureau (NCRB) has recorded about 1 crore incidents of crimes against women over the last five years, the federal government told Parliament on Wednesday.
Ajay Kumar Mishra, the union minister of state for home affairs, was responding to Fauzia Khan, the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), who had requested information on crimes against women and asked the government to make clear the measures it was doing to stop them.
In response, MoS Mishra said, “The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 demands that the investigation and filing of the charge sheet in rape cases must be completed within two months, and that the trials must likewise be finished within two months (Section 173 CrPC). To assist the investigation and monitoring of sexual offenders throughout the nation, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) introduced the “National Database on Sexual Offenders” (NDSO) on September 20, 2018. In compliance with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2018, the MHA has established an online analytical tool called “Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offenses” to monitor and track time-bound investigations in sexual assault cases.
Mishra continued by saying that the MHA has strengthened DNA analysis units in central and state forensic science labs (FSL), including by establishing a cutting-edge DNA analysis unit at the central forensic science laboratory.
After conducting a gap analysis and demand assessment, the MHA approved the installation and upgrading of DNA analysis equipment at state forensic science labs. The MHA has released instructions for gathering forensic evidence in sexual assault cases as well as the typical components of a kit used to gather evidence in such situations. For investigation officers, prosecution officers, and medical officers, training and skill-building initiatives have been implemented to provide necessary staffing capacity. The federal government initiated a program in 2019–20 to establish 1023 fast track special courts (FTSCs), including 389 exclusive courts for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) legislation, in order to bring swift justice to rape victims. 764 FTSCs, including 411 exclusive POCSO courts, are operational as of January 31, 2023, across 28 States and UTs, MoS Mishra stated in his written response.