Kathmandu, October 22:

On an average, some 400 rape cases are registered with the police every year and the prosecutor loses around 50 per cent of the total cases filed in the courts, a report recently published by the Nepal Police said.

The report said the police register only reported cases but most rape cases in the rural areas go unreported.

“Police, as the prosecutor, lost over 50 per cent of rape cases filed at the District Courts this year,” the report said. A total of 432 cases of rape were reported in the fiscal year 2005-06. Police could bring the culprits behind bars in only 107 cases, the report further said.

In the fiscal year 2004-05, courts pronounced verdicts on prosecutors’ favour in 95 of the 367 rape cases the police filed in the district courts throughout the country.

Police achieved success in 85 cases out of total 363 cases filed by police in the year 2003-04, the police report said. The report said over 62 per cent of total rape victims are below the age of 15 years.

“The instances of reporting of rape-related cases have gone up but the police is not able to win such cases in the courts, but the police department seems reluctant to find out the problems and solve them,” Narendra Pathak, joint-government attorney at the Office of the attorney general, said.

“Sometimes, those convicted of rape charges by the District Courts get acquitted from Appellate Courts and the Supreme Court,” he said.

“Inefficiency on the part of the police in collecting physical evidence, inability to protect eyewitness, lack of experts to investigate rape related cases are the major causes behind the failure of police to win their cases in the court,” Pathak said, adding that such inefficiency has deprived the victims of getting proper compensation, Pathak added.

He also pointed out the need to define the term “sex in consent” and review laws related to rape to ensure more rapists are punished.