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Rise in rape cases shocks apex court

New Delhi, August 26, 2013, DHNS: 1:09 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its disturbance over the gang-rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai and decided to study the reasons for the sharp rise in rape cases nationwide and the measures adopted by different state governments for the rehabilitation of rape victims.

A bench of Justices R M Lodha and Madan B Lokur sought responses from all state governments on maintaining law and order, along with the compensation schemes for survivors. The court said that there was an alarming spurt in rape cases and wondered if it was due to fall in the value system of society.

“We are shocked. Earlier, not many cases of gang-rape would come to light but now this has become a disturbing phenomenon. Not even a single day passes without such incidents. It is now happening across the length and breadth of the country. It is shocking that it also happens in metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi. It happened yesterday in Delhi (December 16 gang-rape incident) and now it has happened in Mumbai,” the bench said.

“What has gone wrong with the society? What is wrong with the system now? Is it the total failure of social values, the lack of law or is that law enforcement is not working well? Gang-rape provision was made by an amendment 30 years ago but we have gone from bad to worse. Rape cases have increased manifold. It is very very disturbing,” the court added.

The court was hearing a petition by the father of a teenage girl, gang-raped in Haryana. Besides basic amenities like education, medical care and compensation, the petition sought compensation for the family. The bench said it would like to examine all the issues comprehensively, including if the courts were not fast in delivering their verdicts in such cases.

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