This post is written by Srishti Rajpoot, a 2nd year law student from Gautam Buddha University.
This is the age of corona crisis. However we must not forget about other problems. Similar problems which are important to consider are crimes against women. Even in 21st century it’s a harsh reality of the Indian society that such crimes against women still is on top list of crimes. In crimes against women, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence were on top.
But recently due to many reasons another crime is increasing. This is chain snatching. By seeing the present trend of increasing chain snatching cases in whole of India and specifically in UP, the Uttar Pradesh Law commission recommends amendment to IPC to increase the punishment of chain snatching and to make it non-bailable.
Chain snatching is the crime done mostly by bikes and sometimes by foot, snatch gold chain from neck and ran away.
The victims of chain snatching are mostly women who are walking alone on the road. And the snatchers mostly use speedy bikes so chasing them with ordinary bikes becomes impossible. That is why our police are unable to catch them. The bikers use fake number plates, so it becomes impossible to trace them. So what they are actually doing is adopting modern ways to commit crime. They use helmets, Google maps and much new software to trace police and traffic of that area. Actually most of them are outside from the area and from bordering district. And they take advantage of thin police presence.
Reasons for increasing case of chain snatching-
- Unemployment and thus youth involve in crime. India being a youth country but still due to so much of competition and less number of jobs there is unemployment, which in turn increase crime.
- Increasing gold prices. From the past decade it was seen that there is tremendous increase in price of gold and simultaneously increase in crime of chain snatching. A gold chain may price from 10,000 to 50,000.
- Dilemma of women. In India society chain especially gold chain, the mangal sutra is considered to be holy one. It is necessary for the married women to wear it; however it is risky to wear due to chain snatching cases.
Chain snatching under Indian Law-
There is specific provision for chain snatching under Indian Law. It all depends on the nature of crime that in which section case will be filed. Mostly the case will be under these sections-
- Section 392- Robbery
- Section 397- Robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt
- Section 394- Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery
- Section 379- Theft
- Section 357- Assault or Criminal force
Other States’ view on Chain snatching-
Haryana become the first state in India to make snatching a crime punishable by a maximum of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. Also the trial in Haryana for chain snatching will conduct in session’s court instead of judicial magistrate. Also add 379A and 379B in IPC.
In Maharashtra chain snatching is a non-bailable offence. Also Maharashtra has a separate section for this. 379A(1)(2) & 379B.
In 2010, Punjab makes a minimum fine of 10,000 for chain snatching.
Rajasthan proposes to increases punishment to 14 years of imprisonment for crime of chain snatching in 2019.
Gujarat became the 2nd state to 10 year imprisonment.
C.V. Saleem @ Vembali Saleem vs. State of Kerala
In this case chain was snatched by a man on motorcycle. Punishment was held under section 392 of 2 years.
Paramjit Singh & Ors. vs. State of Punjab
In this case of chain snatching court held that- in case of chain snatching from helpless victims the benefit of probation will not extend.
Need for amendment in Uttar Pradesh-
The state law commission of UP recommends that chain snatching should become non- bailable offence in Uttar Pradesh also. As the number of cases and severity of cases is increasing in this state.
It’s the high time for not only the Uttar Pradesh but also to the other parts of India to think over chain snatching laws. They are increasing day by day in the whole country. The freedom of women to walk on roads and wear the jewel what they want to wear is largely affected by this. It is the right of every individual to walk freely in its territory. Also it’s the duty of the state to protect its individual from such kind of crime. It’s time to think over and make such laws hard. Also its time to think over the root cause of such crimes.
 Crl. Rev. Pet. No. 3393 of 2008
 Crl.Rev. No. 1438 of 2008