It's unrealistic to complete rape trials in two months, says a study by Law Ministry of India
Earlier, the Supreme Court of India had set a two-month deadline for completion of rape trials.
While there has been much discourse over speedy trials of rape cases in India, a study commissioned by the Ministry of Law and Justice has stated that two-month deadline to compete rape trial is just unrealistic.
According to a report published in the Times of India, the 15-month-long study has concluded that the provision under Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to complete a rape trial within two months of filing of the chargesheet is just not possible.
There's no denying the fact that most rape cases in India drag on forever. In fact, it takes years for justice to be meted out, much to the disappointment of rape victims. And as they say: "Justice delayed is justice denied." However, it seems it's practically unrealistic for the judiciary to wrap up rape cases within two months of filing the chargesheet.
"The average time for deposition of the survivor is eight-and-a-half months, which continues beyond 15 months in some cases. Delays occur for multiple reasons, including late receipt of forensic reports and systemic factors like increasing case load that make delay unavoidable," states the report.
But, it most definitely doesn't mean that nothing can be done to improve the treatment of rape trails in the country. The study further mentioned the reforms, which are absolutely necessary for speedy proceedings--including stricter approach to adjournments.
In 2012, Supreme Court of India had directed all High courts to ensure that rape trials are completed within a two-month deadline. Also, it had stated that no adjournment should be granted solely to allow the accused to argue against the proposed sentence. But, with the latest report by Ministry of Law and Justice arguing the contrary, it looks like rape victims in India are left with no choice but to wait for justice.