The study conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, for the Bureau of Police Research and Development, concludes that treatment of woman complainants needs considerable improvement and that a poor do not get a fair shake. Police seems to be “overlooking” illiterate and poor people and 33% of their complaints were either registered as non cognizable offences and 25% as daily diary entries. They were not apprised of fate of their complaints either.
The study says management of crime statistics by police functionaries is linked to performance appraisals and this was an important reason for nonregistration of crimes. “Burking of crime is rampant all over” it says, adding that if nonregistration of crimes is computed, it may mean that less than10% crimes are being registered.
About political influence as a reason for the reluctance of the police to register cases, the study says, “The crime graphs have had negative impact on the performance of not only the police but also Governments in power. In certain States, the political executives openly insisted on burking of crime in order to show lowering of crime.”
After talking to several police officers, general public, lawyers, judges, NGOs and media persons, researchers found that “victims usually nurse a grudge against the police that of their cases were either reduced or made into non- cognizable, in a bid to control the crime graph.” The non-cognizable and cognizable offences are classified separately according to Criminal Procedure Code. The study says the nicety of this classification is not known to an average citizen and sometimes even educated ones and their ignorance about the difference between them, leading to police minimizing the complaint.
Another major problem cited for nonregistration of crimes is lack of adequate manpower and heavy workload in police stations, which prompted the cops to avoid more work by registering all the crimes. “Strangely but as a matter of fact, police continue to be ‘nonplan’ budget and Governments are always less inclined to spend more money on police,” the study says Shortages of staff, infrastructure and transport impact crime registration and filing of charge sheets resulting in almost 50% cases in acquittals.
The national average of women litigants in lower Courts is 10.3%. In uttrakhand this figure is 4.8%. The source of data is National judicial Data Grid.