NEW DELHI, Sept 15: The year 2020 saw a massive 28 per cent rise in the number of crimes registered in the country over the previous year. But the increase was largely due to the violation of the Covid-19 regulations imposed by the authorities from time to time while in respect of the serious incidents of crime, the trend in most of the categories was downward.
The latest report on crime in India by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which released its crime data on Wednesday showed that the number of crimes other than pandemic regulation violations actually decreased in 2020 compared to 2019.
There was a 28% increase in the registration of cases in 2020 compared to 2019, primarily owing to the violations of COVID-19 norms across the country. An almost 21-fold jump was recorded in cases of disobedience to the order duly promulgated by public servant and over four times in cases involving violations of other State local laws. “Major increase was seen in cases registered under Section 188 of the IPC (Disobedience to Order Duly Promulgated by Public Servant) from 29,469 cases in 2019 to 6,12,179 cases in 2020 and under ‘Other IPC Crimes’ from 2,52,268 cases in 2019 to 10,62,399 cases in 2020,” the NCRB report says.
There was 8.30% decline in cases of crime against women.
A total of 66,01,285 cognisable crimes, comprising more than 42,54 lakh Indian Penal Code (IPC) offences and over 23.46 lakh Special & Local Laws (SLL) crimes, were registered in 2020, said the report. Effectively, there was a decrease in registration of traditional crime by about two lakh cases.
“It shows an increase of 14,45,127 (28.0%) in registration of cases over 2019 (51,56,158 cases). Crime rate registered per lakh population has increased from 385.5 in 2019 to 487.8 in 2020. During 2020, registration of cases under IPC has increased by 31.9% whereas SLL crimes have increased by 21.6% over 2019,” said the report.
A major increase was seen in the cases registered under disobedience to the order duly promulgated by public servant, under Section 188 of the IPC, from 29,469 in 2019 to 6,12,179 cases last year; and under ‘other IPC crimes’ from 2,52,268 to 10,62,399 cases. Under the SLL category, more cases were registered under “Other State Local Acts,” leading to a steep rise from 89,553 to 4,14,589 cases.
Crimes against Scheduled Castes, with a total of 50,291 cases, showed an increase of 9.4%. Simple hurt with 32.9% (16,543) formed the largest chunk, followed by cases under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act with 8.5% (4,273) and cases under criminal intimidation with 7.5% (3,788), the report said.
In all, 8,272 cases were instituted for offences against Scheduled Tribes: an increase of 9.3% over 2019. Simple hurt (2,247) accounted for 27.2%, followed by rape with 13.7% (1,137) and assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty with 10.7% (885).
The cases of sedition declined from 93 in 2019 to 73 last year, with Manipur reporting 15 cases, Assam 12, Karnataka eight, Uttar Pradesh seven, Haryana six, Delhi five and Kashmir two cases.
During 2020, more than 55.84 lakh cases were under investigation and over 34.47 lakh of them were disposed of. In nearly 26.12 lakh cases, charge sheets were filed, resulting in a charge-sheeting rate of 75.8%, an increase by 12.50% compared to 2019.
As the country remained under complete lockdown from March 25 to May 31 last year during the first wave of COVID-19, cases of crime against women, children and senior citizens, theft, burglary, robbery and dacoity declined.
A total of 10,47,216 cases of offences affecting the human body were registered, which accounted for 24.6% of the total IPC crimes last year. “Hurt” as an offence accounted for maximum cases (55.3%), followed by causing death by negligence (12.1%) and assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (8.2%).
Cases of murder showed a marginal increase of 1% to 29,193. Various kinds of disputes were found to be the motive in the majority of murder cases, followed by “personal vendetta or enmity” and “gain.” The “kidnapping and abduction” cases declined by 19.3% which included 14,869 male, 73,721 female victims. As per the data, 56,591 were minor (8,715 male and 47,876 female) and 31,999 (6,154 male and 25,845 female) adults. A total of 91,458 kidnapped or abducted persons (22,872 male and 68,867 female) were found alive and recovered, while 281 persons were found dead.
Of the 71,107 cases of offences against public tranquillity, which saw a 12.40% increase over 2019, 51,606 were of rioting.
A majority of the cases of the crimes against women were related to “cruelty by husband or his relatives” (30.0%), followed by “assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty” (23.0%), “kidnapping & abduction of women” (16.8%) and “rape” (7.5%). The crime rate registered per lakh women population is 56.5 in 2020 in comparison with 62.3 in 2019.
A total of 29,768 cases were registered against juveniles during 2020, showing a decrease of 7.8%. The authorities apprehended 35,352 juveniles in 29,768 cases. A majority of the juveniles apprehended under the IPC and SLL crimes were in the 16-18 age group.
While 1,45,754 cases of economic offences were registered, showing a decrease of 12%, there was a decline of 27% in cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act from 4,244 to 3,100 cases. However, with 50,035 cases, cybercrimes recorded an 11.80% increase.
Human trafficking cases declined from 2,208 to 1,714 cases. The agencies rescued 4,680 victims and arrested 4,966 persons. The number of missing persons decreased by 15%. During 2020, over 3.32 lakh such persons, including 2.24 lakh female and 142 transgender, were traced or recovered.
The report said 59,262 children were reported missing last year, a 19.80% dip compared to 2019, while 64,573 (15,832 male, 48,717 female and 24 transgender) were recovered or traced.
Last year, 25,65,448 accused persons were charge-sheeted, 8,76,553 were convicted, 1,17,539 were acquitted and 13,755 were discharged. The States reporting high charge-sheeting rate under IPC crimes were Gujarat (97.1%), Kerala (94.9%) and Tamil Nadu (91.7%).