Pune crime conviction rate falls by 12%
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Registering a steep decline, the conviction rate in areas under the Pune Police Commissionerate has come down by 12 per cent as compared to the previous year's figures. From 38.28 per cent in 2011, the rate dipped to 25.87 per cent in 2012. According to data available, the major reasons for this were weak investigations by the police and key witnesses and complainants turning hostile.
However, an increase in the disposal rate of cases was observed in 2012 as compared to the previous year. While 5,373 cases were decided in 2011, the corresponding figure for 2012 is 9,305. The conviction rate for the state in 2011 was as low as 8 per cent and the state government claims to have taken steps to improve it.
Data released by the Pune Police commissionerate shows that about 9,305 cases were up for judgment in courts, of which 2,408 saw the accused being convicted. In 6,897 cases, the accused were acquitted. Of these, around 1,717 acquittals were due to the complainants turning hostile, while 1,197 acquittals were because the witnesses turned hostile. In 2011, judgment was pronounced in 5,374 cases with 2,057 convictions and 3,316 acquittals.
A public prosecutor with the Pune District and Sessions Court said weak investigation and evidence collection by the police were major reasons for the low conviction rate.
"In a majority of cases, the investigation by the police is flawed. They don't collect evidence properly nor do they record statements of important eyewitnesses. Such investigation makes the case weak," said the public prosecutor who did not wish to be named.
On the other hand, he said, Lok Adalats had led to a good number of cases being settled out of court.
"There are many factors that determine the rate of conviction, including the effectiveness of prosecution lawyers. We are looking into the issues of witnesses and complainants turning hostile," said a senior police inspector.
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