NEW DELHI: The all-India chargesheeting rate for crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that were investigated in 2019 was 67.2%, a slight dip from 68.1% in 2018, while the conviction rate improved marginally to 50.4% from 50% in 2018.
Chargesheeting rate, an indicator of disposal of crime cases by the police, is a calculation of such cases as a percentage of total cases disposed of by the police. Conviction rate, indicator of disposal of crime cases by the courts, is defined as such cases as a percentage of those in which trial was completed by the courts.
In rape cases, the chargesheeting rate was 81.5% in 2019, registering a notable fall from 85.3% in 2018, though the conviction rate rose to 27.8% in 2019 from 27.2% in 2018. Among the states, the highest chargesheeting rate for crimes against women was in Kerala (93.2%), though conviction rate there was a low 13.4%, way below the national average of 23.7%. The best conviction rate for crimes against women was in Mizoram (88.3%).
In Uttar Pradesh, which is in the news due to Hathras atrocity, the conviction rate for IPC crimes was 59.2% in 2019, while the conviction rate for crimes against women was 55.2%, best among the bigger states and also higher than the all-India average of 23.7%.
As per the ‘Crime in India’ data for 2019 released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Tuesday, disposal of crimes registered under the special and local laws (SLL) – such as Dowry Prohibition Act, Excise Act, Arms Act and POCSO Act – in 2019 was better than in IPC crimes with 93.3% all-India chargesheeting rate, up from 92.2% in 2018, and 80.3% conviction rate, down from 81.8% in 2018.
Among the states, the conviction rate for all IPC crimes was highest in Kerala (85.1%), followed by Tamil Nadu (63.2%). The states with a low conviction rate in 2019 were Bihar (6.1%) and West Bengal (13.4%), though the figure for West Bengal pertains to 2018 as the 2019 data was not submitted to NCRB by the state.
Crime head-wise, the chargesheeting rate for murder crimes was 85.3% last year as against 84.2% in 2018, and the conviction rate in murder cases too improved from 41.4% to 41.9%. As many as 5.42 lakh crime cases of the total 83.8 lakh registered under IPC, that were taken up for trial by the courts in 2019, ended in acquittal, while 2.34 lakh of the total 16.3 lakh SLL cases put on trial ended in acquittals.
As many as 44.75 lakh persons were arrested across the country in 2019 for crimes against women, 5.05 lakh chargesheeted, 46,164 convicted, 13,896 discharged and 1.61 lakh acquitted. The number of those acquitted in states like Maharashtra (20,526) was higher than those convicted (2,046). In UP, 83,582 persons were arrested for crimes against women, 1.03 lakh chargesheeted, 15,579 convicted, 2,096 discharged and 13,248 acquitted.