Nagaland and Lakshadweep were the only places where no dowry deaths were reported during 2002-12.

In spite of all the stringent laws and campaigns against dowry, statistics on dowry-related deaths in the country during the past 12 years from 2001 released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) last week show that such deaths have only increased over the years.

The NCRB statistics show that 91,202 dowry deaths were reported in the country from January 1, 2001 to December 31 2012. Out of that 84,013 were charged and sent for trial and the rest were either withdrawn by the government during the course of investigation or not investigated. Of this, 5,081 cases were reported to be false after investigations.

While 6,851 dowry deaths were reported in the country in 2001, the figure reached 7,618 in 2006 and touched 8,233 in 2012. While 6,539 cases were charged and 6,060 sent for trail in 2001, in 2012, the number of cases charged was 8,022 and 7,537 of that sent for trial. 21,922 dowry death cases were pending trial from the previous year in 2001 and the figure touched 29,669 in 2012.

In 2001, the total number of cases on trial was 27,969 and at the end of that year 22,697 cases were pending trial. The corresponding figures for 2012 were 37,206 and 31,888 respectively. A total of 1,389 cases were withdrawn for various reasons after coming up for trial during the 12-year period. 44,668 cases were convicted during the period.

Highest in U.P.

A State wise break-up provided in the statistics show that the highest incidence of dowry deaths was in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. During the period, 23,824 dowry deaths were reported in U.P. and 19,702 sent for trial. In Bihar 13,548 cases were reported during the period and 9,984 sent for trial.

The conviction rate was always in the vicinity of 50 per cent in U.P. and in the vicinity of less than 30 per cent in Bihar. In fact, the number of dowry death cases acquitted was always much higher than those convicted in all the States. In Maharashtra, the incidence of dowry cases getting acquitted was seen to be very high. Out of a total of 3,485 cases for which trial was completed during the 12-year period, 3,066 were acquitted.

In U.P. the dowry death figure was above 2,000 during most of the years of statistics period and in Bihar, it was above 1,000 for the majority of the years. In Madhya Pradesh, it was above 600 during the early years of the statistics period and later climbed to 800 plus. 1,582 dowry deaths were reported in Delhi during the 12 year period. Nagaland is the only State and Lakshadweep the only Union Territory where no dowry deaths were reported during the period.

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