Comparative Research Crime Against Women In The States Of Punjab And Haryana In Indian Context

L.M. Gulati Advocate
Enrollment No. P/17/1994
Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh

Date : 02/04/2024
Location : SCO No. 7, 2nd Floor, Sector 11, Panchkula
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Comparative Research Crime Against Women In The States Of Punjab And Haryana In Indian Context


The study of mine is an attempt to make an analysis and research of nature and magnitude of crime against women in Punjab and Haryana states in context to India. The study finds out that in India the largest number of incidences of crime against women is the cruelty and violence by the husband and other family members, followed by sexual assault including rape and outraging of modesty. Exactly same state is present in Punjab and Haryana as far as the magnitude of crime against women is concerned. The study also concludes that the state of Haryana is liable for more crime against women than the state of Punjab. Hence, the state must adopt strict measures by way of which the menace can be circumvented.

Keywords: Crime against Women, Cruelty against Women, Crime against women in Punjab, Crime against women in Haryana

1. Introduction

In India the crime against women has existed since time immemorial. However, it is only recently that this matter has drawn the concern and discussions in the political and social brackets of the country. The large incidence and rate of crime against women signifies the bitter fact that India's commitment to gender equality is still far from reality (Sharma, 2015; Vidushy, 2016; Parihar 2015). Punjab and Haryana are two small, prosperous and agrarian states of India, with high level of state domestic product and per capita income ( However, a striking fact regarding Haryana is that it has the highest rate of crime committed against women among all states of the country; as high as 107.5 cases per lakh female population. It is in fact intriguing to find that the state which has just 2.07 percent of the female population of the country accounts for 3.6 percent crime of the country with projected female population of 133.3 lakh for the year 2018 (NCRB Report, 2019). Punjab which has the female population equal to 140.7 lakh females that is 2.18 percent of India, is liable for 1.4 percent crime of the country and has the crime rate of 37.7 cases per lakh female population (NCRB Report, 2019).

Taking this discourse, the present study explores the magnitude and nature of different crime committed against women in Punjab and Haryana in Indian context. At the same time, it studies the relative status of two states- Punjab and Haryana as far as crime against women is concerned.

2. Data Base and Methodology

The data for the present study has been extracted from Report of National Crimes Record Bureau, 2019, Govt. of India. Reporting of cases of crime in India is done in two categories i.e. crime under Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the special & local laws (SLL). The data of incidence of crime against women in India and two states of Punjab and Haryana has been tabulated. The meaningful comparisons and conclusions have been drawn after calculating percentages etc.

Crimes against Women in India, Punjab and Haryana

Women in India are the victims of myriad crimes. These have been classified under diverse heads according to the various definitions and prohibition acts or various provisions of Indian Penal Codes.

Table 1: Percentage share of Different Types of Crimes (IPC) in Punjab, Haryana and India

Nature of Crime

Percentage in Punjab

Percentage in Haryana

Percentage in India

Rape and Murder








Attempt to rape




Assault on modesty




Insult to modesty




Dowry death




Abetment to suicide




Cruelty by husband and his relatives




Kidnapping and abduction












Total incidence of crime




Source: National Crime Record Bureau Report 2019 and Author's calculations

*Note: Data for the year 2018-19

The most heinous crime i.e. rape is covered under section 376 of Indian Penal Code. Another crime is the attempt to rape which is covered under section 376 and section 511. If we scrutinize Table 1, it is appalling to note that rape account for 10.31 percent and attempt to rape account for 1.26 percent of total incidence of crime against women in India. In Punjab the percentage cases of these crimes are 16.90 & 1.61 and in Haryana it is 10.28 and 1.40 percent respectively.

Assault on women with the intent to outrage her modesty is also very common in India. This crime is covered under section IPC 354 and has a high percentage in total crimes. In India it accounts for 27.31 percent cases and in Punjab and Haryana it is 19.48 and 21.22 percent of total cases. The cases of `insult to modesty' covered under section 509 IPC has 2.12 percent cases in India while in Punjab there are 0.38 percent cases and in Haryana 1.52 percent.

It is clear from Table 1 and the discussion above that crimes related to outraging the modesty of women are in greater proportion in India as jointly these types cases account for 29.43 percent of total cases of CAW in India. In Punjab and Haryana respectively the joint percentage of this type of crime is 19.86 percent and 22.74 percent.

Crime related to kidnapping and abduction of women is covered under section 363, 364, 364A and 366-369 IPC. On the perusal of Table 1, it is clear that the percentage of this crime in total number of incidences of crimes in India is as high as 22.85 and in Punjab such cases are 26.20 percent of the total cases and in Haryana it is 27.36 percent of total cases. It means that in Haryana the issues of kidnapping and abduction of women are quite grim.

One of the oldest and egregious social problems in India is prevalence of dowry system which when turns ugly takes the shape of crime. Dowry deaths in India are not limited to any specific religion, but are much more common in most of the communities in Northern India, particularly around Punjab, Haryana. Dowry deaths covered under section 304-B of IPC, account for 2.21 percent of crime against women in India; 1.35 percent in Punjab and higher i.e. 1.71 in Haryana.

Most of the cases of abetment to suicide by women in India are also due to dowry or similar issues. These account for 1.60 percent of total cases of crime against women in India; 3.61 percent and 2.82 percent in Punjab and Haryana respectively. Here, cases are higher in Punjab than in Haryana.

It is unfortunate to see that cruelty of husband and his relatives against the married women covered under section 498 IPC forms the largest part of all the crimes being committed. The percentage of this crime in the total incidence of crime against women is as high as 31.60 percent in India; 30.26 percent in Punjab and 33.26 percent in Haryana. This signifies the dismal picture of women in society in India as well as in these two states.

Some other crimes committed against women in India include immoral trafficking of women, procuring, buying and selling of minor girls and importation of girls from foreign country (Section 366B IPC). Other crimes committed against women are forced miscarriage, acid attacks etc.

Crime against Women in Punjab and Haryana as Percentage of Aggregate Cases in India

Table 2 presents a complete comparison of Punjab and Haryana as these are positioned in India as far as crime against women is concerned. The incidences of crime against women in Punjab and Haryana as percentage of total cases of India are shown in Table 2 in parts (A) and (B) i.e. crimes covered under IPC and crimes covered under various SLLs.

Table 2: Crime against Women in Punjab and Haryana ^ as percentage of Aggregate India



All India Aggregate

(A) Nature of Crime (IPC)

Number of incidence

As percentage of All India

Number of incidence

As percentage of All India

Number of incidence

Rape and murder












Attempt to rape






Assault on modesty






Insult to modesty






Dowry death






Abetment to suicide






Cruelty by husband and his relatives






Kidnapping and abduction












Total (A)






(B) Nature of Crime (SLL)

Dowry Prohibition






Immoral Trafficking






Domestic Violence






Women Centric cyber crimes






Sexual violence of girl child






Indecent Representation






Total (B)






Total (A)+(B)






Source: National Crime Record Bureau Report 2019 and Author's calculations

*Note: Data for the year 2018-19

In India total incidences of crime against women under IPC in the year 2018-19 as reported by NCRB were to the tune of 386613. Out of which Punjab had total number equal to 5381 and Haryana had 14567 which means that the former accounted for 1.39 percent cases of crime against women in the country and the later accounted for 3.77 percent. This clearly indicates that if we compare these two states, Haryana is liable for more number of crimes against women than Punjab.

Rape, the biggest crime, has a large number of cases in India, to the tune of 34530, during the year 2018-19, out of which 837 cases which accounts for 2.46 percent of cases happened in Punjab. In Haryana, the absolute number of rape incidences is more than Punjab i.e. 1296 which is to the tune of 3.81 percent cases of the country. Similarly, attempt to rape has 1.92 percent incidence in Punjab i.e. 80 cases and 4.23 percent incidence in Haryana i.e. 176 cases out of 4157 of India. For assault on Women with the intention to outrage their modesty, India had total 90039 cases of which Punjab accounted for 1.07 percent and Haryana accounted for 2.97 cases of India. `Insult to modesty' which means intentional utterance of indecent words which would insult the modesty of woman, any obscene gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of woman had total l6992 cases in India, out of which 0.27 percent happened in Punjab and 2.75 percent in Haryana.

In the cases of abduction and kidnapping of women, again Haryana has more percentage of cases (4.58 percent) of the country than Punjab (1.72 percent); total cases of India being 75333. In dowry related crimes and in dowry deaths, Haryana has chipped in more number of incidences (2.97 percent) than Punjab (0.92 percent), in aggregate cases of India. Abetment to suicide cases and even domestic violence & cruelty cases are in much more proportion in Haryana than Punjab. In India, more than one lac cases of cruelty were there in which Punjab is guilty of 1.44 percent and Haryana for 4.03 percent cases.

Although there is a stringent law in India related to Domestic violence, still it is the most unreported crime in our country. In fact this crime has got the attention of lawmakers recently. Government of India has passed an act in the year 2005 for protection of women against domestic violence under section 509 IPC. Actually a big number of cases related to this type of crime go unreported because of dominance of patriarchal societal norms. That is why the proportion shown for this crime looks apparently small as the figures shown in the Table 2 show that the number of this in India in year 2018-19 was to the tune of 580 and crime percentage of this 0.17 percent in Punjab and 0.34 in Haryana.

If we analyze the crime under SLL category and see the cases covered under dowry prohibition act, we see that total cases registered in India were 13275. Out of these, Punjab accounted for 0.04 percent of the cases and Haryana accounted for 0.14 percent. So, these two North Indian states had minuscule share in this category. Due to the spread of use of cyber social media, cyber crime is the emerging arena of crime against women. 1268 cases were registered under this category across India. Punjab and Haryana almost had equal number of cases listed in this category with 3 percent and 3.39 percent cases respectively. Despite the presence of a stringent law like POCSO act, 2013, there were 39741 cases registered across India under sexual violence of girl child category. Haryana is far ahead of Punjab in this and accounting for 4.64 percent cases of India which is a big percentage for this small state. The cases of indecent representation of women were 22 across India with no cases registered in both Punjab and Haryana. Immoral trafficking of women also has more incidences in Haryana than Punjab. So we can vividly see that under SSL category, 56975 cases have been registered across India in 2018-19. Out of these, 427 cases have been registered in Punjab and 1959 cases in Haryana.

Therefore, this data shows the deplorable picture of women in Haryana where despicable patriarchal mindset still rules the roost.

3. Reasons behind Crime against Women in Punjab and Haryana

The states of Punjab and Haryana are among the most prosperous states of India. Being the agrarian states, these states have the prevalence of land lordism since centuries which coupled with the love for land and law of inheritance gives leverage to strong desire for male child resulting in low sex ratio of females in these states. According to latest census the sex ratio of female at birth in Haryana is as low 833 as per thousand and in Punjab as 886 per thousand (SDG India Report, 2019). Many studies have proven that low sex rate of females gives rise to a number of crimes against women like rape, abduction & kidnapping and immoral trafficking etc.

Patriarchal mind set is reflected in the customs and traditions of these states which include presence of dowry system, early marriage, low level of health, nutrition and medical care of girls and women. Cruelty by the husband and his relatives is the result of the male centric societal set up which has discriminatory upbringing of male and female children (Mukherjee; Jogesh 2012; Kalaiyarasi 2015).

The socio cultural factors in the states of Punjab and Haryana like alcoholism and drug addiction are the perpetuating factors behind the commission of crime against women. The ultra modern life style, changing gender roles and more exposure to social media also have strong impact on crime on women in upper class of the society (Dang

In Haryana, the institutions like `Khap panchayat' are notorious for setting up the unreasonable and wrong code of conduct for women. The wrong verdicts given by these panchayats lead to many crimes committed intentionally against women (Parihar et al 2015).

The lack of good governance, inertia of law enforcing agencies and political connections of the perpetrators in these states has led to culture of impunity due to which deterrent is missing.

Way Forward

The above analysis high lights the glaring fact that Haryana is an unsafe place for women. Hence, a herd of measures are required to be taken by the state. The patriarchal mind set of the society has to be dented upon by way of gender sensitive policies and programmes. Specific gender sensitization and awareness programme which can promote ethical and moral values among males should be made part of education. Strict prohibition and liquor ban in the sensitive areas can also be effective to a great extent in curbing the crimes committed under intoxication. The institutions like `khap' etc should be directly brought under the scanning by judiciary or district administration in case of unlawful acts and conducts. Encouragement to female leadership can bring out unearthing of many hidden crimes. News media and other information channels can also play the same role. Lastly and the most importantly the law enforcement mechanism- government, administration, police and judiciary should be strong enough to give exemplary punishments to the perpetrators.


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•Dang Geetika, Vani S. Kulkarni and Raghav Gaiha, (2017), "What Factors Affect the Occurrence of Crimes against Women in India?",Global Development Institute, University of Manchester.

•Jogesh Das (2012), "Women's Human Rights in North- East India", IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Volume 3, Issue 4 (Sep-Oct. 2012), pp. 34-37

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•Vidushy, Vimal (2016), "Crime Against Women In Punjab: An Analysis", International Journal of Applied Research, Vol 2, NO. 5, pp. 445-447.


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