Cheats are getting smarter as police remain lax

Bengaloreans are among the top three when it comes to falling victims to cheats but the wait for getting justice remain awfully painful.

The south Indian city, which boasts of being the country’s silicon valley, has clocked 3,309 cases of cheating last year, earning the third spot after Delhi (4,957) and Jaipur (4,596) among 19 metros with a population above 20 lakh.

Of this, Bengaluru has 29 cases where the loss of property due to cheating is over Rs one crore while the rest of Karnataka reported just nine cases. If one takes all economic offences, Bengaluru with 3,505 cases is ranked fourth behind Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai.

In 19 metros, out of four specified category of economic offences — criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery and counterfeiting — maximum cases were reported under cheating (25,658 cases) accounting for 83.5% during 2016. Across the country, cheating accounted for maximum such cases, with 1,09,611 cases, followed by criminal breach of trust (18,708 cases) and forgery (13,729 cases).

However, one of the worrying sign for the victims of economic crimes is the pace of investigation and trial. The ‘Crime in India 2016’ shows that 58.3% of economic crimes registered in Bengaluru are still pending with police.

Investigators were saddled with 7,166 such cases last year after adding 3,661 pending from 2015. Of this, 2,987 were disposed off by police in 2016 leaving the pending cases at 4,179.

Bengaluru’s pendency with regard to police investigation is one of the highest. Only Chennai (77.7%), Mumbai (77.1%), Delhi (75.1%) and Pune (63.3%) are ahead of Bengaluru in pendency.

If one takes cheating cases across the country, 59.2% (34,321) of 57,866 cases are pending investigation. When it comes to courts, 95.7% of cheating cases across the country is pending. Only 3,299 of 75,873 cheating cases were disposed off by courts last year.

No specific data on pending cheating cases for metros are given in the report released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Dec 2, 2017)

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