Pune Police Grapple with Dip in Conviction Rates: Falls from 25% in 2021 to 18% in 2023

The declining conviction rates in Pune have emerged as a critical concern for the city’s law enforcement, with the rates plummeting from 25% in 2021 to a concerning 18% in 2023. The dip is particularly evident in session cases, which saw the conviction rate drop to 15% in 2022 and further to 18% in 2023, raising eyebrows among both law enforcement and the public.

In a recent review meeting focusing on the conviction status, the Pune police commissioner directed zonal deputy commissioners of police to conduct thorough investigations into cases and assign accountability for the decline in convictions.

According to data released by the Pune City Police, the conviction rates (session) were 16% in 2019 with 14,589 cases, increased to 23% in 2020 with 34,232 cases, dropped to 15% in 2022 with 12,658 cases, and peaked at 25% in 2021 with 11,374 cases. However, in 2023, the city reported an 18% conviction rate with 14,536 cases.

A concerning trend was observed in Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) cases, where the conviction rate plummeted from 51% in 2019 to a mere 4% in 2023. Officials attribute the decline to the resolution of cases filed during the lockdown prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Statewide, Maharashtra also witnessed a decline in conviction rates, dropping from 58.29% in 2020 to 41.36% in the first half of 2023. In response, the state government is considering rule modifications to hold public prosecutors and investigating officers accountable, seeking a comprehensive report on the contributing factors.

In a proactive move to address the issue and enhance witness contact and prosecution liaison, the police have decided to implement a support monitoring system.

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