|India's apex court puts spotlight on 11,154 rape acquittals
India's top court has criticized the large number of rape cases that end in acquittal, amid yet another gang-rape of a young woman, this time in Mumbai.
The Supreme Court questioned the reason for the high number of acquittals during a hearing Monday.
“What is wrong with the system? Why are 90 percent of rape cases ending in acquittals? The situation is going from bad to worse,'' Justice R.M Lodha told the court in New Delhi.
“Why is it [rape] happening again and again? That too only in metropolitan cities?''
The Supreme Court made the comments during a hearing into the gang-rape of a schoolgirl in the northern state of Haryana.
The 15-year-old was allegedly raped by three men in 2012, and her mother was later killed for not withdrawing a complaint over the attack, the Press Trust of India reported.
It said the court was told that the school's principal refused to let the girl return to classes after the incident.
The statements come after five men were arrested over the gang-rape of the 22-year-old photographer in Mumbai on Thursday, a crime that reignited anger about women's safety in India following a similar attack last year.
The group allegedly trapped and repeatedly raped the woman in an abandoned mill near an upmarket district of central Mumbai, where she was on assignment for a magazine with a male colleague.
The colleague was tied up with a belt while the attack occurred.
The attack rekindled memories of the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student in a New Delhi bus in December.
Official data shows 11,154 rape cases ended in acquittal or discharge during 2012, while 3,563 cases resulted in a conviction.
Another 86,032 cases were awaiting trial at the end of last year, according to the data from the National Crime Records Bureau.--AFP