The Lok Sabha was recently presented with data revealing a concerning trend in Gujarat: zero convictions for cybercrimes in the past three years. Despite registering 3,664 cases and apprehending accused individuals, no convictions have been secured.
This lack of convictions stands in stark contrast to neighbouring states like Maharashtra (81 convictions), Madhya Pradesh (104), and Rajasthan (212) for the same period. While Gujarat saw a decrease in registered cases (8% from 2021), the daily average remains alarmingly high at four cases ranging from online fraud to stalking and harassment.
Compared to other major states, Gujarat also registered fewer FIRs. Telangana and Karnataka saw a significantly higher number of cases, with 15,297 and 12,556 respectively, highlighting the state’s potential under-reporting.
Experts emphasise the difference between arrest and conviction, acknowledging the longer timeframe required for the latter. The inter-state or international nature of cybercrimes can hinder evidence collection, and limitations in investigation methods and case presentation to the judiciary also contribute to lower conviction rates.
However, there is hope for improvement. Increased use of forensics and ongoing training for investigators are seen as crucial factors in achieving better conviction rates. Additionally, staying abreast of evolving criminal tools and technology is vital in combating cybercrime effectively.