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|Crimes and punishment|
|Thursday, 16 June 2011 02:48|
A comparative analysis of the states reveals the wide variation in the total number of cognisable crimes registered under the Indian Penal Code. Among the big states, Kerala tops the list with 341.5 cases of cognisable crimes recorded per lakh population.
Source: Business Standard
Cases of crime in India are still largely unreported, adding to the problem of a slow justice system.
Crimes occur in all societies, but law and order forms the basic backdrop against which economic growth and development take place. Crimes committed in India go unreported or unregistered at police stations to a large extent, making comparison difficult across time and regions. Given this caveat, the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB’s) annual report Crime in India reveals an increasing trend of total cognisable crime reported from 2005 to 2009.
According to the NCRB data, some crimes like murder have shown a lower rate per lakh of population, but there has been a steady increase in the reported cases of theft, especially auto thefts, and domestic violence. The increase in cases of violence against women by husband and relatives from 5.3 cases per lakh population in 2005 to 7.7 in 2009 reflects the fact that more such cases are being reported now. On the other hand, increasing cases of theft, kidnapping and abduction do bring to light the issue of poor law and order.
A comparative analysis of the states reveals the wide variation in the total number of cognisable crimes registered under the Indian Penal Code. Among the big states, Kerala tops the list with 341.5 cases of cognisable crimes recorded per lakh population. Equally grim is the situation in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, recording more than 250 cases per lakh population. Cases of crime registered in Haryana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh are way above the all-India average. (Click here for chart)
Rate of cognisable crimes under different crime heads (per lakh population)
Crime heads 2005 2007 2009
Murder and rape 4.7 4.6 4.6
Kidnapping & abduction 2.1 2.4 2.9
Theft 24.8 25.1 27.7
Total cognisable crimes 165.3 175.1 181.4
Source: NCRB, 2009
Among the small states and Union Territories, Puducherry with 418 cases and Delhi with 283 cases per lakh population stand out. On the other hand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands recorded the least incidence of cognisable crime. Uttar Pradesh has the third lowest rate of cognisable crime in the country, pointing once again to the problems of reporting of incidents.
When it comes to violent crimes, a few more issues come to the light. Violent crimes include murder, rape, kidnapping and abduction, dacoity, riots, arson, dowry deaths etc. Lakshadweep, recording 71.8 cases per lakh of population, stands at the top of the table here mainly due to cases of rioting registered in 2009. Manipur follows at second place, at 42, with a high incidence of reported cases of attempts to murder, kidnapping and abduction. Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand also report a high incidence of violent crimes among the large states; among the Union Territories Dadra and Nagar Haveli registering 36.7 cases per lakh of population is a cause for concern. On the other hand, the registered rate of violent crimes is very low in Gujarat, Nagaland, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, all reporting less than 15 cases per lakh of population.
When it comes to crime, the problem of reporting is compounded by the long delay in getting justice for the victims, highlighting the need for systemic reforms to make law enforcement a more effective deterrent to crime.
Indian States Development Scorecard, a weekly feature by Indicus Analytics, focuses on the progress in India and across the states across various socio-economic parameters