Thiruvananthapuram: The National Crime Records Bureau's Crime in India 2022 report has revealed that Kerala has the highest rate of filing charge-sheets in the country for offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at 96 per cent. Puducherry featured second with 91.3 per cent and West Bengal third with 90.6 per cent.
Kerala also showed a high charge-sheeting rate of 99.1 per cent for crimes under Special and Local Laws but it was the fifth-highest in the country, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures for 2020-2022.
The charge-sheeting rate is the percentage of cases charge-sheeted by police of the total number of cases disposed of in a particular year.
Besides ranking first in the charge-sheeting rate, Kerala was also ahead in terms of the crime rate per lakh population for IPC crimes – offences against public tranquillity, rash driving and the total cognisable offences – and under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
According to NCRB data, the total cognisable offences under the IPC in Kerala in 2022 was 2,35,858 (2.35 lakh) with a crime rate of 661 per lakh population – the highest in India. Cognisable offences are crimes for which the police can arrest without a warrant or prior court permission.
Of those over 2.35 lakh cognisable offences, 1,63,100 (1.63 lakh) were incidents of rash and negligent driving in 2022 with a crime rate of 457.1 per lakh population. According to the figures, this was also the highest in the country in 2022.
The offences against public tranquillity showed a crime rate of 17.3. The number of offences in Kerala under the NDPS Act in 2022 was 26,619 with a crime rate of 74.6, the NCRB report said.
Though Kerala had the second-highest crime rate – 26.6 per lakh population – in the country in 2022 for assault on women with intent to outrage their modesty, the number of such offences was 4,940 against more than 10,000 in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
The same scenario existed in the state concerning offences against minors under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, according to the figures. According to the report, Kerala showed a crime rate of 35.4 per lakh population – the second-highest among states – for POCSO cases in 2022. However, the number of such offences in Kerala was 3,334, around half the number in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh – the top three states in this category.
(With PTI inputs)