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Economic offences rise 19 percent in 2021, Mumbai tops among cities: NCRB

Forgery, cheating and fraud accounted for more than 87 percent of the reported cases, while Mumbai saw over 44 percent jump in cases. Only 5,531, or 29.4 percent, out of the 18,839 cases which completed trial in 2021 resulted in a conviction.

August 30, 2022 / 04:24 PM IST
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Representative Image

Cases of economic offences in the country increased more than 19 percent to 1,74,013 in 2021 from 1,45,754 the year before, with Mumbai topping the chart among cities.

At 1,52,073 cases, forgery, cheating and fraud (FCF) accounted for more than 87 percent of the economic offences reported during the year, followed by criminal breach of trust (21,241 cases) and counterfeiting (699 cases), according to the data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Among metropolitan cities, Mumbai topped the list with 5,671 economic offences registered in 2021, a more than 44 percent increase from the year before. Delhi was second with a 14 percent rise at 5,102 cases.

Economic offences reported in the last three years

The number of reported economic offences in the country declined in 2020, the year the Covid-19 pandemic hit. However, as the pandemic eased, offenders were back, with the number of cases reported in 2021 higher than in 2019, which was before the pandemic struck.

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Among states, Rajasthan topped the list for the third year in a row, reporting 23,757 cases in 2021. Telangana, which came second, saw the number of cases jump 24 percent to 20,757 over the year before. Uttar Pradesh followed with 20,026 reported economic offences.

States which reported the highest number of economic offences

Telangana’s crime rate for economic offences was 55 in 2021, the highest among all states, much higher than the second state on the list, Assam, which has a crime rate of 33.6. The NCRB calculates the crime rate as cases per one lakh of the population.

When it comes to the so-called chargesheeting rate, introduced in last year’s report as a ‘better indicator of police performance, Madhya Pradesh scored the highest with 84 percent of the economic offences reported being chargesheeted, followed by Gujarat (78.3) and West Bengal (77.5).

Meghalaya and Rajasthan were at the bottom of the list with the chargesheeting rate of 15.5 and 16.1, respectively. India’s overall chargesheeting rate stood at 51.9 during the year.

Cities which reported the highest number of economic offences

Around half of the cases investigated during the year in the country remained pending, as the overall pendency percentage for economic offences was at 55.5. This means that out of the total 3,75,742 economic offences investigated by the police in 2021, as much as 2,06,991 remained pending at the end of the year.

States with the highest police pendency percentage for economic offences

Manipur had the highest pendency percentage for such cases at 95.3, followed by Sikkim at 93.9 percent. Among the larger states, Tamil Nadu had the highest pendency percentage at 88.7. The state police was able to dispose of only 1,687 of the total 15,010 cases investigated in 2021.

The conviction rate

Data shows a high pendency percentage for economic offences even in courts, along with a low conviction rate. Overall in India, such cases saw a pendency percentage of 96.6 in courts while the conviction rate was 29.4.

Only 5,531 cases out of the 18,839 cases which completed trials in 2021 resulted in a conviction. However, 12,264 cases — which account for 65 percent of the cases that completed trial — ended up in an acquittal.

FCF cases saw the most number of acquittals with 10,457 of the 15,834 such cases which completed the trial, ending in an acquittal.
Sreedev Krishnakumar
first published: Aug 30, 2022 04:24 pm
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