Delhi HC asks NIC to develop public platform to upload names of proclaimed offenders

 The Delhi High Court has asked the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to develop a software and other facilities for uploading the names and details of proclaimed offenders to enable citizens to assist the police with information regarding their whereabouts and help the State take further action against them.

It said the court-appointed committee headed by the Principal District and Sessions Judge (Headquarter) here shall monitor the implementation of its directions. The court said the data will be uploaded initially on the internal servers and later on the public platform to be developed by the NIC after verification.

“The NIC, under the guidance of the above monitoring committee, shall develop the necessary software and provide the infrastructure, web space and search facilities for the data for implementing the project for uploading the names and other details of the proclaimed offenders and proclaimed persons,” said Justice Talwant Singh in a recent order.

“Initially the data regarding proclaimed offenders/proclaimed persons be uploaded on the internal servers and the same should be accessible only to authorised persons, till the data is checked, re-checked and verified by the stakeholders and thereafter the same may be uploaded on the public platform to be developed by NIC for Delhi District Courts,” Justice Singh said.

Senior advocate Arun Mohan appeared as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the matter. Justice Singh demitted office last month.

The court ordered that Delhi Police and the district courts shall be responsible for uploading the data of proclaimed offender/proclaimed persons in criminal cases and the Director/In-charge of Inter-operable Criminal Justice System shall ensure all possible technical and tactical support to the project.

The Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) is an initiative of the e-Committee of the Supreme Court meant to enable seamless transfer of data and information among different pillars of the criminal justice system, like courts, police, jails and forensic science laboratories, from one platform.

The court also said at this stage, only data of proclaimed offenders in cases registered by Delhi Police and the accused who have been declared as proclaimed offenders/proclaimed persons in private complaints filed directly in Delhi District Courts may be uploaded.

It added data in relation to cases registered by other law enforcement agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate may be uploaded after a gap of at least six months, subject to the final decision to be taken by the monitoring committee.

The court added it is expected that the officials of Delhi Police as well as district courts, who would be responsible for uploading the data, shall use databases like web-search engines and other data available with the other agencies, for updating the information about the addresses and other details of the proclaimed offenders/proclaimed persons.

The court also asked the Delhi Police (Headquarter) to assess the manpower required to operate a centralised cell for processing and coordinating the information on proclaimed offenders.

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It also directed that the suggestion by the amicus curiae in relation to introduction of legal provisions on treatment of proclaimed offenders be forwarded by the Delhi government to the appropriate authorities for consideration.

The court asked the monitoring committee to submit its report every three months.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is the technology partner of the Government of India. It was established in 1976 with an objective to provide technology-driven solutions to central and state governments in various aspects of development, according to the NIC website. 

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