Indicus in News
Books & Reports
|Crimes and punishment|
|Wednesday, 18 January 2012 17:50|
National data show why corruption is an intractable problem in India.
Source: Business Standard
Fighting corruption has emerged as a key issue in India as policy-makers, the corporate sector and civil society have increasingly begun to confront the matter openly. Corruption is prevalent across the country at all levels of governance and in different sectors of the economy. According to the official procedure, cases are registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act and related sections of the Indian Penal Code, and investigations carried out under the norms stipulated by the Code of Criminal Procedure lead to a final report that can result in either a no-offence situation or a charge sheet.
All cases of corruption, of course, do not even get registered. But the National Crime Records Bureau data regarding economic offences show that the proportion of cases investigated to cases registered has increased significantly from 66 per cent in 1990 to 88 per cent in 2010. However, the proportion of cases chargesheeted out of the total cases investigated has remained stagnant — around a third of investigated cases end up in charge sheets and in the last 20 years, the increase has been merely 11 percentage points.
This is also true for the conviction rate. The proportion of cases that resulted in conviction out of the total trials completed increased from 32 per cent in 1990 to 36 per cent in 2010. On the other hand, the pendency of cases increased by almost 66 percentage points in the same period. This precisely pinpoints the government’s failure to check corruption because the guilty under the existing system of the judicial process do not generally get punished.(Click here for charts)
Levels of corruption vary significantly across states and so do the efforts of state governments to tackle corruption. Evidently, in many states the pendency of cases in 2010 was almost nil — in about 15 States and three Union Territories 100 per cent cases were investigated. In Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, 100 per cent cases were investigated, yet less than 20 per cent of cases lead to conviction. On the other hand, in Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi less than 50 per cent of cases were investigated. The most striking figure is that of Delhi where merely nine per cent of registered cases were investigated.
The conviction rate also differs widely. Bihar is one state that has shown a remarkable improvement in socioeconomic parameters in recent years and has the highest conviction rate among all states, another example of improving governance. Next in importance are Uttar Pradesh and Kerala where more than 70 per cent of cases were convicted out of trials completed. The conviction rate is fairly high in Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, though Delhi is among the states with the least number of cases investigated. Oddly, West Bengal data show only five cases registered in the last 10 years with no case pending or registered since 2008.
With law enforcement varying significantly across states, there will always be some states where offenders get away more easily than the others. Yet, with little progress in clearing the backlog of cases, corruption appears to be an intractable problem.
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.
Newer news items:
Older news items: