Crime in India 2020: Volume-I


The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), an agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, published the Crime in India 2020 report on September 15, 2021. The report presents statistics for the year 2020 on crimes such as murder, kidnapping, cyber-crimes and more. This is the 68th edition of the annual Crime in India report, the first of which was published in the year 1953.

Crime in India 2020 is based on information obtained from states and union territories (UTs) and various police and law enforcement agencies such as the Central Armed Police Forces. It contains data on 19 metropolitan cities with a population of two million or more according to Census 2011 – including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore and Delhi.

This 526-page document is the first volume of the 2020 report. It is divided into five chapters, including a summary (Chapter 1) and sections on murder (Chapter 2A, 2B), kidnapping and abduction (Chapter 2C, 2D), crime against women (Chapter 3), crime against children (Chapter 4), and juveniles in conflict with the law (Chapter 5). Each section is further subdivided under “States/UTs” and “Metropolitan Cities”.

Volume II details crimes against senior citizens, Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), economic crimes, corruption, cyber-crimes, crimes considered anti-national and offences related to the environment. Volume III offers insight on crimes including those committed in the railways, crimes committed by or against foreigners, human trafficking and custodial crimes.


  1. A total of 6,601,285 cognizable crimes were registered across the country in 2020 – marking an increase of 1,445,127 cases compared to the number registered during 2019. Crime rate per lakh population increased from 385.5 cases per lakh population in 2019 to 487.8 cases in 2020.

  2. The report states that 4,254,356 cases were under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – comprising 64.4 per cent of the total registered crimes in 2020. On the other hand, 2,346,929 cases, were registered under Special & Local Laws (SLL). Registration of IPC and SLL crimes increased by 31.9 per cent and 21.6 per cent respectively over 2019.

  3. During 2020, the highest number of crimes were reported in Tamil Nadu with 1,377,681 cases (891,700 under IPC and 485,981 under SLL), followed by Gujarat with 699,619 cases (381,849 IPC and 317,770 SLL) and Uttar Pradesh with 657,925 cases (355,110 IPC and 302,815 SLL). This is a significant shift for Tamil Nadu, compared to 455,094 (168,116 IPC and 286,978 SLL) crimes in 2019.

  4. In metropolitan cities with a population of more than two million, a total of 924,016 cognizable crimes were registered, with 668,061 cases registered under IPC crimes and 255,955 under SLL crimes.

  5. The highest rate of cognizable crimes – recorded in terms of crime registered per lakh population – in a metropolitan city was recorded in Chennai (1937.1 cases), followed by Delhi (1608.6 cases), Ahmedabad (1300.5 cases) and Surat (1300 cases).

  6. A total of 29,193 murder cases were registered in 2020, noting a marginal increase of one per cent from 2019.

  7. The report states that 371,503 cases were registered under ‘Crimes Against Women’ in 2020, marking a decline of 8.3 per cent over the number of cases registered in 2019. Most of these cases were registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband or his Relatives’ (30 per cent), ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (23 per cent), ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ (16.8 per cent) and ‘Rape’ (7.5 per cent).

  8. A total of 88,590 (73,721 female and 14,869 male victims) cases of being kidnapped or abducted were reported in 2020. Of these, 56,591 (47,876 female and 8,715 male victims) were children. The most common reasonings given for cases registered under kidnapping and abduction are: missing children assumed to be kidnapped (rate of crime 4.8 cases per lakh population), rape (rate of crime 4.3 cases per lakh population) and kidnapping and abduction of women to compel her for marriage (rate of crime 3.8 cases per lakh population).

  9. During 2020, a total of 71,107 cases were registered as offences committed against public tranquillity under various sections of IPC. Out of these, 51,606 cases were registered for rioting, accounting for 72.6 per cent of such cases.

  10. Under crimes against children, a total of 128,531 cases were registered, showing a decrease of 13.2 per cent from 2019. About 42 per cent of these were for kidnapping and abduction, and 38.8 per cent were cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

  11. In 2020, 29,768 cases were registered against juveniles, marking a decrease of 7.8 per cent over the number of such cases registered in 2019.

    Focus and Factoids by Neelima Mundayur.


National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi


National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi


15 Sep, 2021