New Delhi: Even as Delhi Police has invoked Indian Penal Code provisions against the criminals caught to act as deterrent for others, over 13,000 proclaimed offenders are still at large in the national capital.
According to Delhi Police statistics, a total of 13,621 proclaimed offenders remain untraced as of now though it has arrested 711 this year till March 15 and another 15,010 last year.

The fresh efforts by Delhi cops this year bore fruits with the arrest of a man, who was evading law for 36 years for murdering a co-worker and another man who was hiding in Dubai for 10 years to avoid a one-year imprisonment in a case.

A fortnight ago, Delhi Police has instructed its investigators to invoke Section 174(A) of Indian Penal Code against those proclaimed offenders who were arrested, believing that this would act as a deterrent to others.

"A circular was issued on January 19 regarding proclaimed offenders which was amended on March three instructing officials to invoke provisions of Section 174A of IPC," a senior police official said.

The section deals with non-attendance in obedience to an order form public servant or attend courts. The punishment may be upto six months or a fine of upto Rs 1,000 or both.

"Till now, we were not invoking this section against the proclaimed offenders," he said. This, he said, would help in acting as a deterrent to those wanted criminals and curb the tendency among them to evade arrest.

Special teams have been constituted in each district headed by an Inspector for making concerted efforts to apprehend them, he added.

Instructions have also been issued that these teams should visit the district and states allocated to them for making concerted efforts to apprehend proclaimed offenders.

The official said there is a new vigour in chasing proclaimed offenders as police rewards personnel for apprehending them. "The regular review by Commissioner B K Gupta is keeping the personnel on their toes," he said.

Elaborating, the official said, a Spanish national who was evading court proceedings in a 2006 accident case, was arrested from Gurgaon while a graduate, who allegedly murdered
his father 17 years ago and was on the run for the past 14 years, was apprehended here.