Chandigarh Reports Highest Cases of Habitual Offenders, Third Time in a Row: NCRB Report

Suhas Munshi

Among all the states and Union Territories in the country, Chandigarh has consistently posted the highest number of habitual offenders returning to jails for the third time running in 2019, the recently released report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows.

With 33% cases of recidivism (the tendency of convicted criminals to reoffend) amongst persons arrested for cases registered under IPC, Chandigarh topped the list among all states and Union Territories in the country. The UT was followed by the state of Telangana which posted 18.8% percent of recidivism. Under the category of special laws, Telangana posted 23.7% cases compared to 21.7% cases registered in Chandigarh.

During 2019, a total of 75,359 people were arrested under IPC offences, which included 1,531 juveniles. Of the total arrests, 59,685 adults and 1,531 juveniles were arrested for the first time.

An analysis of the crime records shows that Chandigarh had 46.7% recidivism cases in 2018 and 45.4% such cases in 2017, highest for both those years.

While the national average of habitual offenders returning to jails after a repeated conviction under IPC crimes stood at 4.5%, which was marginally better than 4.8% registered in 2018 and 5.4% in 2017.

Among the states with the highest percentage of recidivism following Chandigarh were Telangana (18.8%), Arunachal Pradesh (14.9 %), Chhattisgarh (14.2%), Delhi (10. 9%), Mizoram (9.2%), West Bengal (8%), Madhya Pradesh (7.1%), A&N Islands (7.1%) and Tamil Nadu (6%).

In 2018, Telangana stood at sixth position among 29 States in the country. Percentage-wise, under crimes registered under special local laws, Telangana had the ignominy of being on the top of the list of habitual offenders among all states and UTs. The rate of recidivism in Telangana was 23.7%, followed by Chandigarh (21.2%), Arunachal Pradesh (20.8%), Puducherry (19.5%), Delhi (17.3%), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (15.2), Chhattisgarh (14.1%) and Bihar (12.6%).

Incidentally, big states of Maharashtra and Gujarat did not report even a single habitual offender among the prisoners who were convicted last year. Out of the 1.88 lakh convicts who were sent to jails in India after conviction in 2019, 6,756 were habitual offenders or recidivists.

The special local laws defined by the IPC include Arms Act, NDPS ACT, Gambling Act, Excise Act, Prohibition Act, Explosives Substances Act, Indian Railways Act, Registration of Foreigners Act, Indian Passport Act, Essential Commodities Act, Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, Dowry Prohibition Act, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, Indecent Rep. of Women (P) Act, Copyright Act, 1957, Indecent Rep. of Women (P) Act, SC/ST (Prevention. of Attrocities) Act, Forest Act and others.