NEW DELHI : Eight states, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana, accounted for more than two-thirds of economic crimes reported in 2017, the bulk of which were cases of forgery, cheating and fraud, according to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The number of economic offences across India rose from 143,524 in 2016 to 148,972 cases in 2017, data showed. Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, were the two states accounting for the highest share of reported economic crimes in 2017, at 14.5% and 13.9%, respectively. The other four states with a high incidence of economic offences are West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka and Assam. The eight states account for 67.2% of all cases reported in 2017, data showed.

Rajasthan and Telangana reported the highest crime rate at 29.2% each, defined as reported cases per 100,000 people.

Union territories in general reported fewer cases of economic offences. States with fewer reported cases of economic offences include Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Delhi, which is classified as a Union territory in the statistics released by the Bureau, reported 3.5% of all cases in 2017.

The latest data also showed the nature of impact white collar crimes had on their victims. Over 91,000 cases resulted in loss of property. The amount involved was less than 1 lakh in more than half of these cases. In 29,500 cases, the amount involved was between 1 lakh and 10 lakh, and in 21 cases, it was more than 100 crore.

Graphic: Paras Jain/Mint
Graphic: Paras Jain/Mint


Police has investigated over 294,978 cases in 2017, including pending cases from past years, leading to filing of charge sheet in 77,492 cases. In 8,094 cases, proceedings have resulted in conviction and, in over 23,000 cases, the accused were acquitted. Trial was pending in 485,257 cases at the end of 2017.

Among 19 cities with more than 2 million population, Bengaluru, Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai accounted for the highest share of the 29,064 cases of economic offences reported in 2017. These four cities accounted for 58.7% of all economic crimes reported from the 19 cities. In terms of crime rate, Jaipur had the highest—140.5 cases per 100,000 people. The total economic offences reported from these cities showed a moderating trend in 2017 from the previous two years. In 2016, they had reported 30,734 cases. It was 32,183 in the previous year. Bulk of these offences, too, fall in the categories of forgery, cheating and fraud.

NCRB also said that cybercrimes in India almost doubled in 2017. The data comes in the backdrop of India aspiring to become a trillion-dollar digital economy.

Interestingly, cybercrimes accounted for less than 1 percentage (0.43%) or 21,796 cases of a total of about 5 million cognizable crimes in 2017.

“During 2017, 56% of cyber-crime 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)," the NCRB data showed.

With the Centre scrambling to fortify India’s cyber operations amid growing warnings of malware attacks on personal and organizational devices, intelligence and cyber law experts have said much like crimes against women, India suffers from dismal under-reporting of cybercrimes.

India recorded 9,622, 11,592 and 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. The data for 2017 comes after a two-year delay, with the Centre blaming states for the delay in providing statistics for compilation.

The crime in India 2017 document said data was captured at the police station or district level, but the socio-economic causative factors, or reasons of crimes, were not being captured by the NCRB.

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