Fact check: Did PM Modi claim rapists are hanged within days?

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 01, 2019 14:31 hrs

Mumbai: “There used to be rapes in this country earlier too, it is a shame that we still hear about such cases. Now, culprits are hanged within 3 days, 7 days, 11 days and a month. Steps are being taken continuously to get daughters justice and results are evident,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Surat on January 30, 2019.

Fact: The claim regarding hanging is untrue. There has been no execution for any rape case in India over the last 15 years. In the last such hanging, Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged in 2004 on a rape charge.

Nine people were sentenced to death for sexual violence against girls below 12 years, without murder, in 2018. This followed an executive order in April 2018 that enabled courts to punish rapists of children under 12 years with the death penalty, after which parliament approved a corresponding change in law in August 2018.

Although more people, 58, were awarded death in 2018 by sessions courts for murder involving sexual violence–an increase of 35% from 43 in 2017 and over 100% from 27 in 2016, according to Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report 2018, published by Project 39A at the National Law University, Delhi–the rate of conviction in rape cases remained low at 25.5%, lower than 27.1% in 2013.

As many as 38,947 rape cases against women were reported in 2016 or nearly 107 every day, according to National Crime Records Bureau data, the latest available. Only one in four rape cases ended in conviction that year, lower than in the three preceding years.

(Paliath is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

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