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At 15%, Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau sees lowest conviction rate in a decade

However, Mumbai ACB’s conviction rate, which was 7% in 2015 and 6% in 2016, rose to 22% in 2017

mumbai Updated: Nov 20, 2017 09:57 IST
Jayprakash S Naidu
Jayprakash S Naidu
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,Anti-Corruption Bureau,Conviction rate
In 2017, trials in 329 cases were completed but the ACB got convictions in only 49 cases.(HT File)

The Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has recorded its lowest conviction rate in a decade with mere 15% convictions this year till October.

According to the information provided by the state ACB, since 2008, conviction rate graph has neither been consistently dropping nor has it risen unexpectedly. Before 2017, ACB’s recorded its the lowest conviction rate in 2010 — 19% — and highest in 2014 — 29%.

However, in 2017, trials in 329 cases were completed but only in 49 cases did the ACB get conviction. An ACB official. while requesting anonymity, said: “We will be studying each and every case where the accused has been acquitted to find out the reasons for the acquittal. We will then work towards ensuring that the accused tried in future are not let off owing to the same reasons.”

“One reason that led to several accused getting acquitted is non-acceptance of evidence owing to technical issues. We are apprising judges about the entire procedure which is undertaken to conduct a trap and the practical difficulties we face in the process. We have already begun this work and have also improved our conviction rate in Mumbai because of it,” he added.

The Mumbai ACB’s conviction rate, which was 7% in 2015 and 6% in 2016, rose to 22% in 2017. When asked if there will be an up gradation of technology to improve the conviction rate, the ACB official replied in the negative.

Former Maharashtra DGP and ACB chief Praveen Dixit said, “We had made full proof arrangements to ensure accused do not get acquitted. The judicial officers need to appreciate the use of modern technology in furnishing evidence.”

Another reason cited by ACB for the low conviction rate is long pendency of cases. In the past few years, the number of courts trying ACB cases has increased and the number of cases completing trials every year has subsequently gone up. However, in 2017 the number of cases completing trials dipped (see table). Responding to the dip, Dixit said,”Despite the Bombay high court asking the special courts to complete five cases per month it’s not happening.”

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 09:57 IST