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NCRB data delayed due to revision, error removal: MHA

For example, under Cyber Crimes against Women and Children, crime statistics under Cyber Blackmailing/Threatening, Cyber Pornography, Cyber Stalking, Defamation/ Morphing, Fake Profile, Internet Crimes through Online Games have been collected.”

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NCRB 2017 data

New Delhi, Oct 22 : Removal of errors in comprehensive revision of new data collection on additional parameters and crime heads was cited as a reason by the Union Home Ministry for the delay in releasing National Crime Records Bureau’s latest annual data — ‘Crime in India-2017’.

A day after the release of the much-awaited data, which was to be released last year, the Home Ministry issued a clarification, claiming “comprehensive revision was done in crime in India pro forma”.

“New data collection and compilation software was prepared. Training of officials from states and UTs on the revised pro forma and data collection or compilation software was done. States and UTs were required to provide information on additional parameters/crime heads.

“Following persistent follow-ups since August 2018, the final data (after removal of errors/inconsistencies) was received only in July 2019. Therefore the delay in the publication of the report,” said a Home Ministry statement.

As incidents of lynching were missing from the list of parameters and and crime heads, the Ministry clarified: “It was observed that data received for certain newly created additional parameters/crime heads was unreliable and its definitions were also prone to misinterpretation. Accordingly, data related to certain parameters/crime heads has not been published.”

The Ministry issued a list of 13 parameters or crime heads which consisted of vague or unreliable data.

On the list, the Ministry mentioned a parameter named ‘Crime against various category of persons’ which has different subsections such as crimes against journalists/media persons, RTI activists, whistle-blowers/informers, social workers or activists, witnesses and crimes against persons belonging to the north-east region.

Second on the list was ‘Crime by Various Category of Persons’ which also has several sub-headings such as crimes committed by religious preachers, by khap panchayats, theft by housemaids or servants, crimes committed by private security guards or private body guards, crimes committed by proclaimed offenders, by those on bail or parole or furlough, by illegal migrants and crimes committed by students.

The remaining crime heads include ‘crimes committed by organized groups such as contract killers, hawala operators and liquor trafficker; honour killings under crime against women; rape during communal or sectarian violence; motives of murder such as hate crime, fake/false news/rumours; methods of murder such as lynching, merciless beatings, crushing by vehicle; crime committed with fire arms; SC/ST category in human trafficking (included on MHA’s instructions); animal related Acts: Cow Slaughter Acts (state/Central Acts), The Cattle Trespass Act and Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act (state and Centre); prevention of Witchcraft or Witch Practices Act (state/Central Acts); human rights violation by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Defence Personnel; and snatching’.

Mentioning that the annual data for ‘Crime in India’ is furnished by the 36 states and UTs and 53 metropolitan cities, which have a population of 1 million (10 lakh or more as per population census 2011) by respective State Crime Records Bureaus (SCRBs) or Crime Investigation Departments (CIDs), the Ministry said the “NCRB has only compiled and collated the data and presented it in the form of this report”.

“The NCRB is not responsible for the authenticity of the information, as data is being furnished by states/UTs/Central law enforcement agencies /CAPFs/CPOs.”

Certain states such as Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have provided the citizen-friendly service of Online Registration of FIR under certain category of offences such as ‘Vehicle Theft’ and ‘Other Thefts’, the Ministry said. “As this may have increased the crime reporting under such heads in these states, they become statistically non-comparable with other states not having such online registration facility,” the Ministry said.

“Improvements have been undertaken to make the report more comprehensive, informative and useful for the parliamentarians, policy makers, states/UTs, researchers, academicians and other stakeholders. Data is now being collected in greater detail for several categories of crimes. For example, under Cyber Crimes against Women and Children, crime statistics under Cyber Blackmailing/Threatening, Cyber Pornography, Cyber Stalking, Defamation/ Morphing, Fake Profile, Internet Crimes through Online Games have been collected.”

The Ministry said that efforts have been made to include sub-section-wise information under section 376 IPC (rape) and that information on major crime heads such as kidnapping and abduction, causing death by negligence, hurt and grievous hurt, sexual harassment have been further “segregated” as per their respective sub-heads.

“Data has also been published under certain new acts such as Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and Chit Fund Act.”

To capture the criminal justice system holistically, the Ministry said efforts have also been made to collect data on time taken for investigation (Indian Penal Code or Special and Local Law (SLL) cases), age profiling of cases under investigation(IPC and SLL cases), the time taken for trials (IPC crimes) and also for service of summons and warrants.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

India

Tale of two Delhi Police responses

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JNU Student and Delhi Police

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) In an incident reminiscent of then Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar directing his force to unleash water cannons and tear gas on the protesting youth in the aftermath of the gruesome Nirbhaya gang-rape case in December 2012, Delhi Police on Monday came down heavily on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) demanding “complete rollback” of the recent hostel fee hike.

The police action caused injuries to many students, many of whom had blood streaming down their faces — for their part, the police said many among them were injured in the clashes.

Hundreds of students were stopped by the police on Monday near the JNU campus soon after they began marching towards the Parliament. The protests brought traffic in the area to a standstill.

In response, the police lathi charged and beat up the protesting students, including visually-impaired students.

Just 10 days ago, the same police personnel protested after they had clashed with lawyers in Delhi’s Tis Hazari court premises.

Many JNU students and academia have now started questioning, “Were the cops who thrashed the students venting their spleen for being beaten up by the lawyers?”

On Monday, a visually impaired student, Shashi Bhushan Pandey, who was taking part in the march to the Parliament, was roughed up by Delhi Police personnel following which he had to be taken to the AIIMS trauma centre.

“I was taken away from the human chain. I thought since I told them that I am visually impaired, they would spare me a beating, but no. I was hit on the leg. The boy who helped me and took me to the hospital was also attacked by the Police,” Pandey later said.

“When I told the policemen that I was blind, they said, ‘If you are blind, why have you come for the protest’,” said Pandey.

The university’s visually challenged students’ forum has issued a statement in condemnation of the police action. While senior police officers accepted the fact that it was not correct, they also endorsed the lathi charge on the agitating students.

“We asked them to stop and not cross a particular point, but they kept marching and thereafter indulged in clashes. It should have been avoided,” said a senior IPS officer.

On November 5, in an unprecedented protest by Delhi Police, thousands of its personnel laid siege outside the Police Headquarters for several hours and staged a virtual revolt against Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik for not speaking up for them when they were attacked by the lawyers on Tis Hazari court premises on November 2.

The senior officers who came to address their grievances faced their ire. Amidst slogans like “We Want Justice” and “Go Back, Go Back”, senior officers, including Patnaik, were forced to leave, putting a big question mark on the leadership of the force.

Senior officers of Delhi Police declined to comment on the decision to order a lathi charge on JNU students.

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Election

Supreme Court moved over discrepancies in 2019 Lok Sabha poll data

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Lok Sabha Election 2019

New Delhi, Nov 20 : Two non-government organisations (NGOs) have moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies in the voter turnout data and votes counted in 347 constituencies in the 2019 general election.

“There have been serious discrepancies in the number of voters in different constituencies (i.e. the voter turnout data collated and provided by the Election Commission) and the number of votes counted,” said the plea filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Common Cause.

The NGOs have clarified that the plea didn’t challenge the Lok Sabha election results, or the process adopted to conduct polls.

They contended that the EC declared results of the election on provisional figures and without determining the exact vote count and without due reconciliation of the discrepancies in various constituencies.

“The EC has not laid down any prescribed system for compiling, reconciliation and publishing of poll data and therefore, has been evading placing the methodology followed by it, in public domain”, the petition stated.

It sought a direction to the EC to place the information in statutory forms — 17C, 20, 21C, 21D and 21E — for the general elections and all future elections, in public domain.

The discrepancies between the actual voter turnout and provisional data in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as pointed out were significant and couldn’t be set aside without a satisfactory resolution of the same, it said.

“The current statute has a procedure for resolution of a dispute through an election petition, but no provision for resolution of the doubts arising out of discrepancies in a large number of constituencies all over the country,” it said.

The plea highlighted the dereliction of duty by the EC in declaring results of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies through electronic voting machines (EVMs) based on accurate and indisputable data which is put in public domain.

The petitioners said, the discrepancies ranged from 1 to 1,01,323 votes, which was 10.49 per cent of the total votes.

However, there was no particular co-relation with any party regarding discrepancies found in its research, the ADR added.

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India

Cabinet approves sale of stakes in BPCL, 4 other PSUs

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New Delhi, Nov 20 : The Cabinet on Wednesday approved sale of government’s stake in five blue-chip PSUs, including Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), Shipping Corp of India (SCI) and Container Corp of India along with transfer of management control, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The government will sell its 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL after taking out Numaligarh refinery from its portfolio, she told reporters here.

Besides, the government will sell its stake in THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) to state-owned NTPC Ltd, she said.

Finance Minister said the Cabinet has also approved cutting government’s stake in select PSUs below 51 per cent while retaining management control.

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