MADURAI: Concerned over the poor conviction rates in cases of grave crimes, the Tamil Nadu Director General of Police Ashok Kumar has asked all the senior police officials to take up more responsibilities during the charge-sheeting stage to improve the conviction rate, police sources here said.
According to sources, in a circular sent recently to all the senior officials in the ranks of IGs, DIGs and SPs, the DGP has pointed out that one of the primary reasons for poor conviction rates was “faulty investigation.
Stating that such poor conviction rates show the police department in poor light, he had asked all officers in the ranks of SPs and Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCs) to thoroughly scrutinize the charge-sheets of grave criminal cases to fix any loophole in the probe before the cases go for trial.
According to the circular any loophole should be fixed and the charge-sheet accordingly reworked. A senior police official said the present procedures do not mandate the SPs and DCs to scrutinize the charge-sheets.
The DGP is believed to have asked the SPs and DCs to do this scrutiny for serious offences like murders, rapes, dowry deaths, robberies and cases booked under the SC ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Though the data for 2014 is yet to be made available, the National Crime Records Bureau data for 2013 shows that TN has fared badly compared to rest of the country in conviction rates.
For instance, the conviction rate for murders in TN in 2013 is 28.5 percent while the national average is 36.5 percent. In Rapes and Dowry Deaths, the conviction rate is 26.2 percent and 24.1 ercent respectively, while the national average for the same are 27.1 percent and 32.3 percent.
In cases under the SC ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, the conviction rate is abysmally low at 11.1 percent in TN while nationally it is 15.9 percent. The only area where TN has fared better is in Robbery cases where the conviction rate is 40.4 percent, way above the national average of 29.8 percent.
Police sources said the DGP has also asked the officers in the ranks of IGs and DIGs to monitor and guide the SPs and DCs in important cases during the investigations and trials to ensure better conviction rates.
Sources added that the circular also urged that training courses on Investigations for officers in the ranks of SIs and above be conducted regularly to improve investigation and conviction rates.