New Delhi: An alarming rise in cases of sexual offences against women and children by Delhi's trial courts in 2014 remained a major concern notwithstanding few successful prosecutions, including Dhaula Kuan gang-rape case involving a woman from north-east.
Exactly 45 days after the five rapists in the Dhaula Kuan case were sentenced to life term, the national capital was shamed again when a woman executive was raped by the driver of a US-based cab service provider putting a question mark on prosecution as the accused turned out to be a repeat offender committing the fresh crime while out on bail in a 2013 case.
The year gone by also witnessed some contentious decisions of acquittals and remarks that courted controversies with one judge terming "pre-marital sex" as "immoral" and against "tenets of every religion" and another judge holding that "sexual relations between legally wedded husband and wife, even if forcible, is not rape".
However, away from the above two cases, a Tis Hazari court came out with an important verdict in which it said "because a woman is a sex worker, it does not confer a right upon anyone to violate her dignity," and awarded 10 years jail to four youths for abducting and gang raping a Rwandan refugee.
While acquittals in sexual assault cases were climbing, there were cases, particularly against minors which resulted in convictions and most prominent was of a couple who was punished for jail terms of 10 and 7 years for kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and "subjecting her to horrific and sadistic sexual assault repeatedly".
The minors, who were victims of sexual assault, in most cases were the sufferers at the hands of their relatives but the accused succeeded in getting away without the maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
In one case the accused who was 26-year-old uncle of the nine-year-old victim was jailed for 10 years while in another, a relative got away with seven years imprisonment for assaulting an 11-year-old child.
Safety of minors in public places also became a concern and a 60-year-old man was held guilty of sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl in a temple even as other such cases like the April 2013 case of rape of six-year-old in east Delhi which is yet to be decided despite being prosecuted in fast-track court especially set up after the December 16, 2012 gang rape and murder case.