NEW DELHI: Over the years, the national capital has fast emerged as the crime capital of the country. And while an overburdened Delhi Police claims it is doing its best to reduce crime, the conviction rate tells a different story.
Rates of conviction in Delhi have been steadily falling over the last 12 years. While in 2005, 31.2 per cent of cases registered resulted in convictions, it fell drastically in 2016 to a paltry 4.9 per cent, according to information from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The data shows how Delhi, which had the best conviction rate in India 10 years ago, is now competing with states like Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, etc, of taking the tag of a state/UT with the worst conviction rate.
Even big states such as Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, which recorded maximum FIRs in 2016 (over 2.64 lakh in Maharashtra and 2.85 lakh in Uttar Pradesh), have seen better conviction rates than the national capital with 15 per cent and 13.1 per cent respectively.
Delhi Police’s total strength is approximately 90,000 personnel, of which 25 per cent perform only security duties. According to an official, it would be incorrect to blame Delhi Police for poor conviction rate as to investigate over 2 lakh cases, the force has just 6,500 investigating officers, which means each has 285 cases per year to investigate. They also perform duties.
MHA also believes that poor investigation or delays are the only reason for poor conviction rates. MHA’s reply in the recently-concluded Parliament session on low conviction rate said, “The reasons for low conviction rate include hostile witnesses, long duration of trails, faulty investigations, etc.”
“The strength of Uttar Pradesh Police and Maharashtra Police is almost 2 lakh each, double ours, but the number of cases registered are almost same,” a Delhi Police official explained.