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Economic Offences in Delhi: More cases closed than chargesheeted

Economic Offences in Delhi: More cases closed than chargesheeted

New Delhi: The highly anticipated 2017 crime statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau has revealed a chink in the armours of investigating authorities in Delhi, with respect to their efficiency in clearing cases of economic offences. According to the data, the Delhi Police has closed more economic offence cases than filed chargesheet in 2017.

Including the pending cases from the previous year, the cases reopened for investigation and the cases reported during the year, there were 20,351 economic offence cases to be investigated in the year. Of this, chargesheets were filed in just over 13.01 percent cases, with final reports being filed in 15.24 percent cases.

In fact, even in the context of the total number of cases disposed of by police in 2017, chargesheets were filed in less than 50 percent of the economic offences.

In 2017, there were 5,200 economic offence cases reported in the Capital city, out of which chargesheets were filed in only 555 cases. The other chargehseets filed by the Delhi Police in the year were for cases pending investigation from the previous years. In total, 2,648 chargesheets were filed in the year.

On the contrary, the numbers show that the Delhi Police had filed 3,103 Final Reports (FR) in the same year, which is inclusive of cases from 2017 and the years before that. But what's more disturbing is that 81.82 percent of these FRs were filed in cases which authorities believed were true but could not gather sufficient evidence for. As a result, 2,539 cases were closed in 2017 for lack of evidence or cases becoming untraceable or a lack of investigative leads.

While the data does point to a marked decrease in the number of false FRs, with just one such case in Delhi compared to 11 in 2016; the 2017 numbers show that 254 economic offence cases were closed because of a mistake of fact or law or because of a civil dispute.

But the major data point with respect to economic offences in the Capital shows that police in the city are not making major strides in clearing pending cases and bringing down the pendency rate of investigations. While there were more than 15,000 cases pending for investigation at the end of 2016, with a pendency rate of 76 percent; at the end of 2017, the number still remains above 14,500, with a pendency rate of 71.5 percent.

Abhinay Lakshman

Abhinay Lakshman

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