State’s conviction rate higher than national average: Advocate General

The Home Secretary as well as Director General of Police (DGP) informed the Madras High Court Bench here on Monday that there was no proposal, at present, to enact a special legislation for controlling organised crime as the rate of conviction in the State was much higher compared to the national average and that in many other States.

Advocate General A. Navaneethakrishnan made the submission before Justice N. Kirubakaran who wanted to know if the government had any plans to enact legislation similar to the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act 1999.

The judge raised the question in public interest during the hearing of a bail application filed by two people accused of murder.

Individual affidavits

Filing individual affidavits of the Home Secretary and the DGP, the AG stated that the conviction rate in the State hovered around 60 per cent since 2001 as against the national average of 40 per cent.

Therefore, “Tamil Nadu could not be equated with Maharashtra as our State has a good record of utilising the existing provision of law to curb the criminals.”

In his affidavit, the DGP K. Ramanujam expressed inability to submit information about political, religious, caste-based or extremist backing for the organised crime groups in the State on the ground that the Police Department did not collect such details as a matter of routine.

He assured the court that such leanings would not be allowed to shield illegal activities.

The department did not maintain statistics about crimes committed exclusively by organised crime groups as such categorisation was not required as per the format prescribed by the National Crime Records Bureau. Statistics of contract killers as well as rowdy gangs also did not form part of the crime data.

Rowdy sheets

Nevertheless, every police station maintained rowdy sheets containing details of people with bad antecedents and, as of now, 16,502 people were included in these lists across the State with Chennai city having a majority of 3,175.

It was followed by Tirunelveli district police maintaining 1,214 rowdy sheets, Madurai city (888), Kanyakumari (748) and Cuddalore (680).

The lowest number of 65 rowdy sheets was maintained in The Nilgiris, followed by Perambalur and Tiruvarur with 84 rowdy sheets each.

The DGP informed the court that the Organised Crime Intelligence Unit (OCIU) of the Police Department shared inputs with superintendents and commissioners of police for preventing organised crimes.

After taking the two affidavits on file, the judge reserved his orders on the bail application without mentioning a date.

He had sought the statistics last month while expressing concern over spurt in news reports of criminal offences being committed by engaging hirelings on contract.

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