The Real Crime

Source: The post is based on an article “The Real Crime” published in The Times of India on 30th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 Functioning of the Indian Judiciary; Social Justice etc.

News: Recently, the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) released its latest Crime in India report for 2021 which provides the dismal story of justice delivery in India.

From 2020 to 2021, kidnapping and abduction cases increased by 20% and crimes against women, children, and senior citizens increased by 15%, 16%, and 5% respectively.

What are the issues in India’s criminal justice system?

A rise in serious crimes hasn’t been accompanied by proportionate systemic upgrades.

Nearly 20% of sanctioned policing posts are vacant, according to the Bureau of Police Research and Development.

The conviction rates are very poor in murder, sexual offenses, rioting, and kidnapping. For example, the conviction rate is just 28% in rape and 42% in murder cases.

There is high pendency of cases at the level of the judiciary.  More no. cases come to the court than disposed-off by the courts during the year. For example, violation of Covid-related social distancing norms prompted a deluge of such cases. Courts disposed of 4 lakh cases in 2020 and 2021, but another 5lakh are pending trial.

What should be the course of action?

As per statistical analysis, there is a need for more and better-trained police and judges.

Governments must withdraw all those cases which are not very serious and important at present, like covid-related cases, thousands of cases relating to possession of small amounts of marijuana, etc.

The process of prosecution and investigation of offenses should be reformed. Further, the government must undertake efforts like a serious review of criminal codes.

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