In yet another stalking case in Gurgaon, professional stalkers were allegedly sent to follow a woman on the orders of her estranged husband. The two men were arrested on Monday.
According to a report by the Times of India, the woman noticed a couple of men following her on Monday evening when she stepped out of her house.
She called her brother, who then met her at the nearest bus stand. They made a quick PCR call and went straight to the police station.
On the basis of the woman’s complaint, an FIR was registered under sections 354-D (stalking), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 34 (common intention) of the IPC at Sector 14 police station and the accused were arrested.
According to the TOI report, the two accused, Harishankar and Rashish Shrivastav – claimed that they were employees of a private detective agency and were hired by the woman’s husband to spy on her.
The duo was produced in the City Court on Tuesday and were sent to judicial custody.
Make Stalking a Non-Bailable Offence
The fact that stalking is still a bailable offence in our country allows stalkers to get bail without serious scrutiny. This often puts the survivors at risk of facing acid attacks, rape, and even murder.
Stalking as a separate offence did not exist in the IPC till 2013. This necessarily affects any analysis of the statistics relating to stalking, as the National Crime Records Bureau (“NCRB”) only has statistical data for the years 2014-2016. Despite this, the data available paints an interesting picture of the nature of the crime and the way it is being dealt with in the country.
- In 2014, nearly 4,700 cases of stalking were reported. This jumped to 6,300 in 2015 – a 33% increase. In 2016, nearly 7,200 cases were reported. Given that awareness about the offence is still nascent and society still tends to view stalking as not too serious an offence, such high numbers, with increases every year, indicate how prevalent the crime really is.
- Pendency rates for trials are high. In 2016, 13,449 cases were pending trial for stalking, out of which trial was completed in only 1,534 cases i.e. 11.4%. This leaves a huge backlog of trials to be carried forward into the new year.
- In terms of the number of cases reported each year, only 3% in 2014, 5% in 2015 and 5% in 2016 resulted in convictions. In terms of trials, the conviction rate was 35% in 2014, but dropped to 26% in 2015 and stood at 26.4% in 2016.
- Importantly, the data indicates a lower-than-normal incidence of false cases. The NCRB’s statistics show that of the 9,800 stalking cases investigated by the police in the year, only 215 were found by them to be false. This comes out to be only 2.1% of all cases investigated in the year – which is below the average percentage of false cases per crimes investigated across the country: 2.5%.
The Quint has been running a campaign to make stalking a non-bailable offence. Sign our petition here.