In its white paper released on Wednesday, the Praja Foundation has highlighted the issue of case pendency before the police as well as the courts. According to the report, it would take 30 years to complete trials of all the cases registered till last year.
As per the report, around 2550 serious offenses are disposed by the courts every year. If this average is taken into consideration, it would take next 30 years to complete the pending trials, assuming no further cases go for trial henceforth.
The report states that a total of 6,329 cases were disposed by the various courts in the city during 2020, of which 3,414 cases saw conviction. However, at the end of year, the number of cases pending at the various stages of trial stood at a staggering 2,49,027.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police registered a total of 50,158 cases throughout the year. With the previous year's pendency of 76,763 cases, the total count for 2020 went up to 1,26,921 cases. Of these, the police filed a chargesheet in 21,420 cases and submitted a final report for 9,437 offenses, while 7 cases were either transferred, withdrawn, abated or quashed. This left a pendency of 96,057 cases with the police. These cases will undergo a trial in 2021.
The situation regarding crimes against women (CAW) is no different. In 2020, a total of 25,263 CAW cases were at different stages of trials. These included 22,368 cases from the previous year. Of these, 121 cases got convicted, while in 329 cases the accused were either discharged or acquitted. A further 108 cases were either withdrawn, transferred, abated or quashed which takes the pendency to 24,705 cases by the end of the year.
The police registered 4,583 new cases of CAW in 2020, in addition to the previous year's 10,527 cases that were being investigated. A chargesheet was filed in 2,895 cases, with a final report submitted in 574 matters and 4 cases being withdrawn, transferred, abated or quashed. This took CAW cases pending with the police to 11,637, by the end of 2020.
When the POCSO Act was introduced, it had been mandated that trials should be completed within a year of the incident. However, the pendency of POCSO cases is increasing. By the end of the year 2020, a total of 4,464 POCSO cases were awaiting justice, while 1,963 cases were under investigation.
As per the report, 297 POCSO cases are under trial for more than three years, while 2,446 are being tried for the last 1-3 years. Further, 10 POCSO cases are under investigation for more than three years.