Dramatic rise in criminal conviction rate in Bihar

February 10th, 2009 - 1:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Feb 10 (IANS) Over 30,000 criminals, including politicians and lawmakers, have been convicted and punished in the last three years in Bihar, a police official said Tuesday.

A total of 30,086 people have been convicted in the state since January 2006, higher than any comparable period for decades. Of those convicted, 83 were sentenced to death while 6,059 got life terms.

“In the past, the conviction rate in Bihar was very low. Only about 5,000-10,000 would be convicted in a decade. The recent convictions were made possible with speedy trials being conducted in almost all pending criminal cases by different courts, including fast track courts and special courts,” Additional Director General of Police Neelmani told IANS.

Police officials said the high rate of conviction has led to a decline in the crime rate and it has all been made possible by the special courts that were set up in January 2006.

When Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) became Bihar chief minister on Nov 24, 2005, he promised to turn the state crime-free within three months. He later admitted that it was not possible but set up the special courts to quickly dispense justice.

Due to the fast track courts, a dozen members of parliament and legislators have been convicted and sentenced in the past three years.

Well-known convicts include Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MPs Pappu Yadav and Mohammad Shahabuddin, Lok Janshakti Party MP Surajbhan Singh, former JD-U MP Anand Mohan, his wife Lovely Anand, and JD-U legislators Narendra Kumar alias Sunil Pandey and Munna Shukla.

Pappu Yadav, currently lodged in the Tihar jail in New Delhi, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Ajit Sarkar.

Shahabuddin, who is lodged in Siwan jail, was convicted in seven criminal cases, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Sunil Pandey was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the kidnapping of a noted neurosurgeon in Patna.

Munna Shukla was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of G. Krishnaiah, who was then district magistrate of Gopalganj. Anand Mohan was sentenced to death for the same murder.

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