Menace of fake currency continues despite demonetisation

New notes were issued in November 2016, supposedly to fight terror financing through fake notes. But, in a matter of great concern, 2017 witnessed crores of fake notes under circulation

The new Indian currency notes issued by the Modi government in 2016.
The new Indian currency notes issued by the Modi government in 2016.

Gyan Pathak/IPA

The sharp rise in the menace of fake currency notes and various crimes under Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL) demands a fresh approach in tackling them effectively.

The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for 2017 gives a clear indication that the menace of the fake currency notes continued even after demonetization and issuance of new notes claimed to be too difficult to be counterfeited, and the overall rate of crime situation deteriorated.

It is a matter of great concern that new notes were issued in November 2016, supposedly to fight terror financing through counterfeit notes, however, the year 2017 witnessed crores of fake notes under circulation, out of which a total of 3,55,994 notes worth Rs.28,10,19,294 were seized during 2017.

Moreover, among the UTs Delhi and among the states Gujarat, topped the seizure list. It clearly indicates the failure of one of the purpose of issuing new notes.

Crime in India increased by 3.6 per cent in 2017 as against 3 per cent in 2014 according to the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). It’s a matter of great concern that Special and Local Laws (SLL) crimes have registered a sharp increase from 2.4 per cent to 4.8 per cent during this period. Crimes under IPC also registered a sharp rise from 0.9 per cent in 2015-16 to 2.9 per cent in 2017.

Offences affecting human body are also on the increase as percentage of the total IPC crimes which rose to 32.3 per cent in 2017 as against 30.1 per cent in 2016. However, murder registered a decline of 5.9 per cent. Most of the murders were the result of property disputes or financial greed. Most murders were private in nature.

Abduction and kidnapping has emerged as one of the most problematic area concerning law and order situation. There was an increase of over 9 per cent over the last year.

A total of 1,00,555 (23,814 male and 76,741 female) victims were reported kidnapped or abducted, out of which 56,622 (14,296 male and 42,326 female) victims were children and 43,933 (9,518 male and 34,415 female) victims were adult. Out of them 1,992 kidnapped or abducted persons were found dead.

Majority of cases under crimes against women out of total IPC crimes against women were registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives’ (33.2%) as against 32.6 percent previous year.

‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ has also increased from 25 per cent to 27.3%, ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ rose to 21.0% from 19 per cent. However, it is surprising in this backdrop that ‘Rape’ cases has decreased to 10.3% from 11.5 per cent, may be a large number of the abducted or kidnapped females avoided to register cases.

In percentage terms, major crime heads under ‘Crime Against Children’ during 2017 were kidnapping & abduction (42.0%) and cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (25.3%) including child rape.

It is also a matter of concern that juveniles under the age group of 16 to 18 are increasingly found in conflict with law. The percentage of such apprehended juveniles were 72.2 per cent.

Economic offences and cyber crimes are also on the rise. Out of three specified category of economic offences (viz. criminal breach of trust, forgery, cheating & fraud and counterfeiting), forgery, cheating and fraud accounted for maximum such cases, with 1,27,430 cases, followed by criminal breach of trust (20,371 cases) and counterfeiting (1,171 cases) during 2017.

As for cyber crimes, 56.0% of the cases registered were for the motive of fraud (12,213 out of 21,796 cases) followed by sexual exploitation with 6.7% (1,460 cases) and causing disrepute with 4.6% (1,002 cases).

During 2017, a total of 7,75,263 cases were registered under offences against property (25.3% of total IPC crimes), out of which, theft (5,89,058 cases) followed by burglaries (1,10,711 cases) accounting for 76.0% and 14.3% respectively.

Properties worth Rs. 5,002 Crore were stolen and Properties worth Rs. 1,296 Crore were recovered accounting for 25.9% of recovery of stolen properties. A total of 2,44,119 cases of property crimes took place at residential premises. However, majority of robberies took place on roadways with 17,626 cases.

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