Only 18% dowry death cases end in conviction: data

Only 18 per cent cases registered under dowry death charges end up in conviction, statistics available with the Delhi Police reveal. According to the Delhi Police figures, a dowry death is reported in the city every third day.

Of the 681 people arrested under the sections of dowry death in Delhi, only 207 were convicted of the charges and sent to jail.

Around four years ago, the Delhi Police had issued a circular that no arrests would be made in cases of dowry harassment without the prior permission of the deputy commissioner of police (DCP). This was done after the courts issued strict guidelines against the misuse of dowry harassment laws.

According to the data available for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, as many as 413 cases were registered under Section 304B (dowry deaths) of the IPC in Delhi.

However, when the cases came up for trial in the courts, only 75 cases ended in a conviction.

It meant a jail term for only 207 people, the records said. Police said it was not necessary that the other cases would have ended in an acquittal, as they might have gone for appeals in a higher court.

The data was provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the present session of the Lok Sabha.

Earlier, police arrested all men and women, including distant relatives of the victim, even on the mere mention of their names in the First Information Report (FIR).

"From the allegations set out in the FIR and other subsequent allegations or material collected during investigation, if necessary only the prime/main accused, whose primary role in the commission of the offence has been established, should be arrested, and that too after the prior written approval of the DCP. The arrest of the accused should be an exception not a rule," an order issued by the then police chief Y S Dadwal had specified.

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