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Saturday, 26 August 2017 00:00
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CCTNS police portal is a big step forward in justice-delivery

The fact that citizens of the country will be able to register FIRs online and even access seven public delivery services like person/address verification of tenants and servants or reporting lost and found articles, is undoubtedly a big thing, but is probably the least of what the recently inaugurated Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) can deliver. Once fully operational, and stabilised, CCTNS will revolutionise the way the police works —given the cost of a mere Rs 1,450 crore, it is unimaginable that the project, conceived by P Chidambaram when he was home minister after the 26/11 attacks, was not implemented all these years. Policemen arresting a suspect in one part of the country will, for instance, now be able to immediately get any history of arrest in another part or time spent in various jails and on what charges; fingerprints can be sent to forensic laboratories quickly and can be searched for in extensive databases. Even courts will be able to make use of the database.

The project will, in one place, integrate various organs of the criminal justice system such as the police, courts, prisons, forensic laboratories, juvenile homes etc. Of the 15,398 police stations in the country, 14,284 are already using the CCTNS software; of the latter, all FIRs in 13,775 police stations are only being generated online. The database already contains seven crore records which include 2.5 crore FIRs. The software, home minister Rajnath Singh said while launching the Digital Police Portal, a part of the CCTNS, offers a Google-type advanced search engine and analytical reports. This then, Singh said, “will provide investigator the complete record history of any criminal from anywhere across the country…. and the portal offers 11 kinds of search and 44 types of reports”. The software was, for instance, recently used to trace few mentally challenged women from Tamil Nadu in Uttarakhand and reuniting them with their families. The integration of CCTNS with e-courts, e-prison data bases and its access to the judiciary, police and prisons through a desktop dashboard will undoubtedly expedite informed decisions and investigations. Along with the critical public services like online registration of FIRs, complaints against erring police officials, tracking of cases, and quick police verification, its domain could be extended further to the databases like vehicle registrations. But the success of this potential game-changer project will depend on data accuracy, and its judicious utilisation, and this is where the government needs to be extremely careful while going ahead on the creation of this national backbone for the justice system.


Last Updated ( Monday, 28 August 2017 03:59 )

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