West Bengal tops in cruelty to women by spouse

At a time when a debate rages on the misuse of Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code ( IPC), which deals with cruelty to woman by husband and in-laws, an analysis of the data from National Crime Records Bureau, 2013 shows that West Bengal accounts for the highest number of cases under the particular section.

The NCRB data, which was, published earlier this week, points out that 18,116 cases under Section 498 –A were registered in 2013, which is highest in the country and amounts to 15.24 per cent of cases recorded in the country. The cases registered under Section 498-A in West Bengal also are over 60 per cent of overall crime against women recorded in State, which is 29,836 ( third highest in the country).

The Supreme Court on Thursday had directed the State governments to instruct to its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498-A of the IPC is lodged. While the number of cases recorded under this section in West Bengal has dropped from 19,881 in 2012 to 18,116 in 2013 , over the past five years the State recorded the highest number of cases under Section 498-A when compared to other States in the country.

Referring to the apex court’s order, National Coalition of Men, a forum of several NGOs fighting for men’s rights, told The Hindu on Friday that the West Bengal Government should take note of the judgment and ensure that harassment under Section 498-A is stopped. “It is incumbent upon the police of West Bengal to ensure that the people in the State are not harassed under the provisions of 498 –A. Moreover if we look at the conviction rate of those charged with this Section of the IPC we find that it is reducing by two percent every year over the past three years,” Amit Gupta president of NCM said. The conviction rate of those charged with Section 498- A has come down from 6.3 per cent in 2011 to 4.4 per cent in 2012 and 2.3 percent in 2013, Mr. Gupta added. “However, the conviction rate at the national level under Section 498-A shows an increase by 1 per cent – from 15 in 2012 to 16 in year 2013,” the representatives of NCM pointed out.

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Printable version | Oct 2, 2022 3:18:18 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/west-bengal-tops-in-cruelty-to-women-by-spouse/article6180156.ece