The Ministry of Women & Child Development has revealed that dowry cases, as defined under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, are increasing in India.

As per the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data, the conviction rate under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 was 27.3 percent, 23.1 percent, 23.9 percent, 21.5 percent and 23.3 percent in the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 respectively. The conviction rate in the year 2010 has risen over that of 2009, said Minister of Women & Child Development, Krishna Tirath, in the Rajya Sabha, on Thursday.

According to data available on the official website of the NCRB, 8391 cases were reported during 2010.

As per Seventh Schedule, 'Police' and 'Public Order' are State subjects under the Constitution. As such, the primary responsibility of prevention, detection, registration, investigation and prosecution of crimes, including crimes against women, lies with the State Governments/ Union Territory (UT) Administrations, said Krishna Tirath.

A statement by the Ministry claimed that the central government attached importance to the matter of prevention and control of crime against women and has been advising state governments from time to time regarding the steps that need to be taken to afford a greater measure of protection to the women and, in particular, to prevent incidence of crimes against them.

These advisories, inter-alia, emphasize gender sensitization of the police personnel, minimizing delays in investigations of crime against women, improving the quality of investigation and setting up Crime against Women Cells in districts where these do not exist.

The minister also indicated that administrators of states and UTs have also been advised that dowry related cases must be adjudicated expeditiously to avoid further harassment of the women and also to develop a community monitoring system to check cases of violence, abuse and exploitation.

Pointing out the initiatives taken by the ministry, she said that the Ministry undertakes awareness programmes through electronic media, print media and outdoor publicity on issues relating to dowry.