Despite regular raids and arrests on bootleggers and liquor dens, prisons in ‘dry’ Gujarat had only one inmate who was convicted under the prohibition Act in 2016.
The interesting detail was revealed in the 2016 statistics of prisons released recently by the National Crime Records Bureau, which said that this was the lowest conviction rate among the states that have Prohibition Act in place. Interestingly, the number of under-trials at 291, booked the under the same law revealed to be the highest in the country!
Experts believe that the low rate of conviction can be attributed mainly to cops’ half-hearted investigation in such cases or to witnesses turning hostile during trial.
“Police investigation is the most important aspect for conviction. But in such cases, the mechanical investigation, non-availability of independent witnesses and inability to get possession are major reasons why conviction rate is so low,” said Shailesh Patel, a prominent criminal lawyer.