Rapes in India: Cops at wits end over ‘technical’ problem

Jul 02 2014, 15:05 IST
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SummaryBattling a surge in rape complaints, police officers point to what they call ‘technical rapes’

Battling a surge in rape complaints, police officers point to what they call ‘technical rapes’, which mostly result from failed relationships and are difficult to probe for lack of proper medical evidence and support from parties to the ‘crime’ during the trial stage. GAUTAM S MENGLE, MEGHA SOOD and SRINATH RAO take a look at the scope of probe into such cases

ON June 27 this year, the Supreme Court, while hearing a case filed by a former airline cabin crew member against a top banker, expressed concerns over the recent increase in cases where women had filed complaints of rape against their male partners after their relationship went sour, mostly accusing them of sexual exploitation with the promise of marriage.

“Where is it held that if you had a relationship for two years, it becomes rape when it failed?” the Supreme Court bench had asked while hearing the case where the complainant had alleged that the accused had taken advantage of her for two years and then refused to marry her. The accused was already married and the complainant knew it.

In the last two years, soon after reforms in rape law following the infamous Delhi gangrape, police stations in Mumbai have seen a surge in the number of rape complaints, with more and more women coming forward to lodge a criminal protest. But the most worrying of these for the police are what they call “technical rapes”, which stem from failed relationships. According to police, these are cases where a consensual sexual relationship later turns into a complaint of rape against the man. While officers say it’s impossible to identify them under statistics separately, they claim around 80 per cent of rape cases registered with them are technical in nature.

“Cases involving very young girls are actual rapes, where men force themselves on girls aged ten to twelve years or below. These are mostly perpetrated by men known to the victims, which includes family, family friends, neighbours, teachers and others who come in daily or frequent contact with the victims. Among adult women, there are few cases every year of actual rapes. However, all others are cases of consensual sexual relationship gone wrong later,” says Deputy Commissioner of Police Mahesh Patil, who is also Mumbai police’s spokesperson.

The police officers Newsline spoke to - from investigating officers to regional additional commissioners of police- say these cases too are probed in the same

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