Big issues, GS-2, Uncategorized

Police Reforms still unreachable!

Context:
There has been a rise of public demand for an efficient, accountable and people-centric police that steadfastly upholds the Rule of Law in all situations. Since independence, the National Police Commission as well as multiple expert committees have submitted successive reports recommending extensive reforms in the Police. These recommendations have mostly remained unimplemented.

In September 2006, the Supreme Court of India, in Prakash Singh Vs Union of India passed a historic judgment directing the Central and State Governments towards operational reform and functional autonomy of the police. The Indian Police Foundation was inaugurated in 2015 to mount pressure on State governments to implement the directions of the Supreme Court on police reforms (Prakash Singh v. Union of India).

However, in effect the country has failed to use this historic opportunity for serious modernization and reform of the police.

awaiting-police-reforms-1

Introduction

Under the Constitution, police is a subject governed by states. The centre is also allowed to maintain its own police forces to assist the states with ensuring law and order. Therefore, it maintains seven central police forces and some other police organisations for specialised tasks such as intelligence gathering, investigation, research and recordkeeping, and training.

The primary role of police forces is to uphold and enforce laws, investigate crimes and ensure security for people in the country. In a large and populous country like India, police forces need to be well-equipped, in terms of personnel, weaponry, forensic, communication and transport support, to perform their role well.

Further, they need to have the operational freedom to carry out their responsibilities professionally, and satisfactory working conditions while being held accountable for poor performance or misuse of power.

Some of the issues in the policing system in India
Various expert bodies have examined issues with police organisation and functioning over the last few decades. Its chronology as follows-
  • National Police commission 1977-81
  • Rubeiro Committee 1998
  • Padmanabhaiah committee 2000
  • Malimath committee 2002-03
  • Police Act drafting committee 2005
  • Supreme Court directions in Prakash Singh vs Union of India 2006
  • Second ARC 2007
  • Police Act drafting committee-II 2015
Issues:
  • Police accountability
Police forces have the authority to exercise force to enforce laws and maintain law and order in a state. However, this power may be misused in several ways. To check against such abuse of power, various countries have adopted safeguards, such as accountability of the police to the political executive, internal accountability to senior police officers, and independent police oversight authorities
  • Crime Investigation
Each police officer is responsible for a large segment of people, given India’s low police strength per lakh population as compared to international standards. While the United Nations recommended standard is 222 police per lakh persons, India’s sanctioned strength is 181 police per lakh persons. After adjusting for vacancies, the actual police strength in India is at 137 police per lakh persons.
  • Crime investigation and Underreporting of crime in India
In 2015, the conviction rate for crimes recorded under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was 47%.19 The Law Commission has observed that one of the reasons behind this is the poor quality of investigations.
  • Poor Police infrastructure
Modern policing requires a strong communication support, state-of-art or modern weapons, and a high degree of mobility. The CAG has noted shortcomings on several of these fronts.
  • Police-Public relations
Police requires the confidence, cooperation and support of the community to prevent crime and disorder. A police-public relation is an important concern in effective policing. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission has noted that police-public relations is in an unsatisfactory state because people view the police as corrupt, inefficient, politically partisan and unresponsive.
Directions of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh vs Union of India
In 1996, a petition was filed before the Supreme which stated that the police abuse and misuse their powers. It alleged non-enforcement and discriminatory application of laws in favour of persons with power, and also raised instances of unauthorised detentions, torture, harassment, etc. against ordinary citizens. The petition asked the court to issue directions for implementation of recommendations of expert committees.
In September 2006, the court issued various directions to the centre and states including:
  • Constitute a State Security Commission in every state that will lay down policy for police functioning, evaluate police performance, and ensure that state governments do not exercise unwarranted influence on the police.
  • Constitute a Police Establishment Board in every state that will decide postings, transfers and promotions for officers below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, and make recommendations to the state government for officers of higher ranks.
  • Constitute Police Complaints Authorities at the state and district levels to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct and abuse of power by police personnel.
  • Provide a minimum tenure of at least two years for the DGP and other key police officers within the state forces
  • Ensure that the DGP of state police is appointed from amongst three senior-most officers who have been empanelled for the promotion by the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of length of service, good record and experience.
  • Separate the investigating police from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.
  • Constitute a National Security Commission to shortlist the candidates for appointment as Chiefs of the central armed police forces.
Why is that urgency in implementing Police Reforms?
As India makes rapid advances towards becoming an economic and political superpower, our police cannot continue to remain frozen in the frame of a past era.
  • The avalanche of social and technological changes fuelled by the internet and the new social media are fast changing the nature, intensity and the reach of crime leading to unprecedented lawlessness and frightening dimensions of global terrorism.
  • There is an urgent need to strengthen our Criminal Justice System and our grassroots level policing institutions;
    • to prepare our police to deal with the present and emerging challenges and
    • Strengthen its investigative capabilities and emergency response infrastructure.
  • Traditional and linear devices used in the past towards police reform may not be sufficient.
  • Considering the multiple causes and their complex interdependencies associated with today’s policing issues, there is a realization that these challenges require broader, more collaborative and innovative approaches and would involve a range of coordinated and interrelated responses.
It was in this context that the Indian Police Foundation and Institute was established, bringing together the multiple stakeholders to collectively work for reform and modernization of the police. However this could form only part of the solution.
Way forward
Political authorities still have a stronghold over the police and frequent changes of Police heads once a new government is elected has become a practice in many states. The result is that the police even today are not trusted by the people. They perceive the force as being partisan, politicised, and generally not very competent.
Much of the problem would not have been if the 2013 Lokpal legislation was put in place. The Lokpal would have the powers to oversee the CBI’s work and would ease the burden of the court.
This nationwide campaign for transformation needs to be driven by our police leadership itself with the support and patronage of all stakeholders, including the Central and State Governments.
Ultimately, it is only strong public opinion that can move the political class to implement the 2006 directives. But the police have to set examples to win public trustReform must start at home. The Political class should take bold initiatives to bring in more reforms in the existing policing system in India. The need is to have an impartial and professional police force because the criminal justice system cannot function without a healthy police and investigative agency.
Conclusion
The transformative reforms in the Indian Police is possible through appropriate interventions in skill building and attitudinal training, through reforms that are both bold and practical, and through collective action of all stakeholders to drive a nationwide campaign for change, keeping in mind, the difficult conditions under which our police functions.
Editorials, GS-2, Indian Polity, Uncategorized

Plan B for free speech

Article Link

Over the decades, the Indian Supreme Court has developed a rich and robust jurisprudence of free speech and, with a few exceptions, has generally ruled in favour of free speech against repressive measures. This was most recently evidenced in the famous Shreya Singhal judgment that held Section 66A of the Information Technology Act to be in violation of Article 19(1)(a).

  • And yet we persistently hear of cases, including the ongoing sedition case against students of JNU, where the law is used to harass or silence any form of critique or dissent.

What is sedition?

‘Sedition’ is an offence incorporated into the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in 1870. Section 124A of the IPC defines sedition and says:

  1. Whoever by words either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, the government established by law; or
  2. Whoever by the above means excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law, has committed the offence of sedition.

What has Supreme Court ruled?

The Supreme Court has persistently held that for the offence of sedition to be satisfied, there has to be a causal relationship between speech and acts of violence, and mere speech, regardless of how subversive it is, does not amount to sedition.

Concerns:

In the recent years the ease with which complaints of sedition or speech that allegedly hurts the sentiments of a community are brought before the police and criminal action initiated against the speakers is a cause of worry.

Is it time to scrap these laws?

People concerned with the misuse of these laws often ask for them to be repealed or struck down on the grounds that they violate Article 19(1)(a).

  • But herein lies the problem. Most of these laws have, in fact, been challenged and their constitutional validity has already been upheld.
  • Section 295A (“deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs”) was found to be constitutional in the Ramjilal Modi case (1957) and Section 124A (sedition) was held to be constitutional in the Kedarnath case (1962).
  • Both these were Constitution benches and even though the effect of these judgments has been subsequently watered down through more liberal judgments, these cases remain the law of the land.

Is the government willing to scrap such laws?

While one wishes that these laws would be trashed in the future, it is unlikely that Parliament will repeal them in a hurry.

  • In the case of sedition, the provision is beneficial to every government regardless of its ideology, and in the case of hate speech, the colonial self-fulfilling prophesy that Indians are “emotionally excitable” subjects sadly remains the persistent myth.

The, how can we tackle this problem?

  • In case of free speech, focus on procedural reforms and safeguards that at least render the malicious use of these laws more difficult.
  • All speech-related offences should be made bailable offences; this would lessen the harmful impact of using arrest and custody as a way of harassing anyone exercising their rights under Article 19(1)(a).
  • The offences should be made non-cognisable so that there is at least a judicial check on the police acting on the basis of politically motivated complaints.
  • In the case of offences under Sections 153A (“promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”) and 295A of the Indian Penal Code, it is mandatory under Section 196(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure to obtain prior sanction of the government before taking cognisance of the offences. This needs to be extended to the offence of sedition under Section 124A.
  • In the case of hate speech, it is important to raise the burden of proof on those who claim that their sentiments are hurt rather than accept them at face value.
  • And finally, it is crucial that courts begin to take action against those who bring malicious complaints against speech acts.

Conclusion:

Free speech, even though imperfect in some aspects, at least provides us with a platform to challenge unreasonable acts of the state. The real challenge is how we tackle lumpen threats that also expertly use the law in strategic ways. The true test of a democracy lies in how much it can tolerate disagreement and even speech that we strongly disagree with. But despite the Supreme Court affirming our right to disagree and dissent in substantive law, the ease of filing complaints and the ever-looming threat of police action undoes procedurally what we have substantively. If we are to regain our fundamental rights, then it might well begin with procedural reforms that support rather than negate free speech.

Editorials, GS-3, Internal security, Uncategorized

After Pathankot, what?

Article Link

The extended time taken by the security forces to neutralize the recent attack on the airbase in Pathankot has led to a clamour for the need to have the ability to respond more swiftly. The whole incident has also raised several questions about how to respond to such attacks. Most people are of the view that the local police should have reacted faster. However, given the present state of policing in India, one can easily conclude that our police forces are not in a position to handle such attacks.

The three greatest problems confronting the country today are:

  1. The challenge of international terrorism.
  2. The spread of Maoist influence over vast areas of Central India.
  3. The cancer of corruption.

If we are to tackle these problems effectively, there is no getting away from having a professional police force, well trained and equipped, highly motivated, and committed to upholding the law of the land and the constitution of the country. However, this would require a total revamp of police forces in the states.

Present state of police forces in the country:

The bulk of the recruits in the police come from the rural areas and from the economically weaker sections of society. Physical tests at the entry levels are deliberately designed in a manner that does not weed out too many hopeful candidates. And also for the same reason, the training curricula, as well, cannot be too stringent.

  • Even on the job, a daily grind with 14-hour duty schedules, irregular food timings, consumption of unhealthy street food, has made them less active.
  • And the police forces at the state level are primarily required to maintain law and order, manage traffic, and prevent and investigate crime.
  • Hence, for the police, who are used to wielding a lathi and investigating crime, it becomes difficult to take up sophisticated arms and combat well-trained terrorists. It is also difficult to arm this civilian force with automatic weapons to respond to a terrorist attack without any prior training.

Reforms needed:

Such a change in the work profile would require a paradigm change in the way police officials are recruited and trained.

  • So the first thing that policymakers have to decide is the kind of police they want, depending on the kind of tasks they expect the police to perform. This should be followed up by necessary improvements in the training facilities available for the police and they should be provided with suitable ammunition.
  • Another important requirement for a force to be battleworthy is regular firing practice.
  • The police would also have to modernise their work culture and daily processes. Policemen, particularly in metropolitan cities, could be equipped with short batons and communication devices so that they can respond quicker. Specialised units are essential to deal with terror attacks.
  • Several strategic assets are spread across the country. Hence, we have to look at the way physical protection measures are taken at strategic installations. For instance, we often find incomplete or poorly built boundary walls and inadequate lighting, with hardly any back-up. This would have financial implications for policymakers as these units would have to be suitably housed, trained, equipped and kept motivated.
  • The recommendations of committees, set up to review the security of various assets, and the reports of the Intelligence Bureau should be seriously taken up. While manpower is essential to provide security, investments must also be made in technology to secure assets.
  • The political class too is not anywhere near to loosening its control on the police. Steps have to be taken to prepare our policing and investigative agencies for any kind of crimes and attacks.
  • There is a need to recruit more officers with specialisation in forensic sciences and also in different fields like cyber crime, financial accounting and auditing and psychology.
  • Once officers are recruited they need to go through police regimen, with stress on their field of expertise. In this regard, physical exercise must be made mandatory for overall physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Intelligence gathering is an art. Intelligence records need to be digitised and made available to authorised personnel when required. Also, Intelligence analysts need to be trained and engaged.
  • There is a need to utilise the services of every officer in the organisation with clear division of work and responsibility. There is also an urgent need to separate law and order from the investigation and detection of crime.
  • Finally, concerns about the integrity are some of the most important issues facing the profession of policing. Cases of police misconduct can seriously harm years of work to establish trust and confidence between the police and members of the community they endeavour to serve. We need to have some oversight over the police working, as is in vogue in South Africa, Northern Ireland and much of the UK.

Supreme Court on Police reforms:

The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgement in September, 2006, ordered the setting up of three institutions at the state level:

  1. State security commission with a view to insulating the police from extraneous influences.
  2. Police establishment board to give it functional autonomy.
  3. Police complaints authority to ensure its accountability.

Other recommendations by the apex court:

  • The apex court also ordered that the Director General of Police shall be selected by the state government from amongst the three senior-most officers of the department empanelled for promotion to that rank by the Union Public Service Commission, and that he shall have a prescribed minimum tenure of two years. Police officers on operational duties in the field would also have a minimum tenure of two years.
  • The court also ordered the separation of investigating police from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.
  • The Union government was also asked to set up a National Security Commission for the selection and placement of heads of Central Police Organisations, upgrading the effectiveness of these forces and improving the service conditions of its personnel.

The aforesaid orders were to be implemented by March 31, 2007 and the court also appointed the Thomas Committee to monitor the implementation of its directions in various states. Several States have passed executive orders purportedly in compliance of the Court’s directions, but actually they have diluted or even subverted the directions with a view to continuing the supremacy of the political executive in the enforcement of law and order. Seventeen states have passed Acts, but not in keeping with the letter and spirit of judicial directions.

Conclusion:

The police are the first responders in the event of any terrorist attack or Maoist violence, and they are also the backbone of our intelligence, investigation and anti-corruption agencies. Thus, looked at from any angle – the security of the common man, the survival of democracy, maintaining the trajectory of economic progress or dealing with the major threats confronting the country – we have to have a reformed, restructured and revitalised police force. Recent incidents call for a cutting-edge approach to policing. This also necessitates an overhaul of managerial thinking in the police as well as training methods.

GS-2, Indian Polity, Public Admin 2, Uncategorized

Issues related to Police

Following are the issues which need to be discussed in the conference (DGP Conference in Kutch):

  1. Collection and analysis of preventive intelligence:

The most important and challenging task faced by the law enforcement authorities and intelligence agencies today is the collection and analysis of preventive intelligence and follow-up action, especially pertaining to terrorists and insurgents who pose a constant challenge to internal security.

  • While there’s a dire need to improve the capability of the intelligence-collection machinery and upgrade its resources, the intelligence-sharing mechanism leaves a lot to be desired. Our intelligence, collected by state and Central agencies, still sits in silos.
  • Apart from the fact that it’s often not analysed properly, the mania for getting credit drives the organisation having the intel to follow it up even if it doesn’t have the wherewithal.
  • Our efforts in setting up the Natgrid, to build a secure sharing platform, have remained tied in knots despite huge investments.

The DG/IG conference needs to discuss and find a way out of the current situation and lay down a roadmap for establishing a robust intel collection and sharing mechanism.

What needs to be done?

  • The Central intelligence agencies have to strengthen their capabilities and also help states upgrade their machineries for collecting both human and technical intelligence.
  • States also need to pick up on generalised inputs flowing to them and work on specific information, rather than ignoring it all as vague and non-actionable.
  1. Criminal Investigation:

The other important, but badly neglected, aspect of policing is criminal investigation. Standards have declined sharply in the last few years. Unfortunately, the so-called premier investigation agencies like state CIDs and the CBI are no exception.

  • Apart from investigations and conclusions of trials taking an abnormally long time, these tend to fall flat in court, often attracting the judiciary’s wrath. On the other hand, investigation is no longer a coveted job in the states.
  • The fate of cases involving terrorism is no better. Several cases investigated by special units/ agencies have not only ended in acquittals but also resulted in courts posing serious questions as to the veracity of the evidence presented and the procedures adopted.

The directors general and inspectors general of police attending the conference need to discuss and debate this situation to find urgent remedies. They also need to examine existing laws and procedures and suggest modifications and measures for improvement.

  1. Vacancies:

Central investigation agencies like the CBI, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate continue to have huge vacancies, as officers from states are not willing to join and sister agencies are staffed with officers from the Central armed police forces.

  • Even the apex court’s direction to fill these posts and experiments like additional remuneration have not yielded the desired results. This is unfortunate, and it can’t be allowed to persist.
  • The conference may discuss whether a system whereby certain posts in the investigative wings of states are financed by the Centre and states are obligated to depute a fixed number of officers to Central agencies could be the way out.
  • These officers may revert to the states after five or six years, taking with them valuable investigative experience.
  • A system of fast-track promotions — based on merit determined by a limited competitive exam — for officers recruited at the sub-inspector level, who have put in a certain minimum amount of service, may be another solution.

Even, most states have a huge number of unfilled vacancies. They tend to fill these on the eve of elections and train personnel in facilities arranged in an ad-hoc manner.

  1. Outdated arms and equipments:

Most state police forces continue to use obsolete equipment and arms, and lack the latest technology that would help in investigation and intelligence-gathering.

  • State governments haven’t considered it their responsibility to apportion a part of their budgets to upgrade police capabilities, even though law and order is their domain.
  • They need to realise that investing in better law enforcement will yield dividends in the form of more economic investment and development.
  1. Lack of Organisation:

There are no organisations to provide the police forces with tested and dependable specifications on equipment and technology. They are generally dependent on vendors, who often sell outdated or not-so-suitable technology.

  • Though the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) has been tasked with this responsibility, it hasn’t been able to fulfil this need.
  • The conference needs to discuss a mechanism, under the BPR&D and with the involvement of organisations like the DRDO, the IITs, IISc, etc, to help decide on specifications for equipment as well as identify and develop the latest technology to be inducted at regular intervals.
  • IIT Bombay’s effort to set up the National Centre of Excellence in Technology for Internal Security, with assistance from the department of information technology is a right step.
  1. Lack of proper training:

Well-trained and motivated human resources are key to any police force’s success. But, most training academies are poorly staffed and often don’t have the necessary facilities. Institutions need to be upgraded in terms of facilities, equipment and technology.

  • There’s a need for advanced personnel planning and commensurate training facilities.
  • The best officers must be encouraged to join as trainers. It must be mandatory for personnel, including officers, to undergo in-service training before promotion.
  1. Involvement of state administrators:

While the DG/IG conference is attended by the Union home minister and senior ministry officials, it doesn’t involve chief secretaries and senior officers of the state home departments.

  • This is peculiar since law and order and investigation are state subjects. Any recommendations or decisions arrived at cannot be implemented without the express support of state administrations.

Conclusion:

The state police forces and the Central armed police forces have been facing several problems and confronting new challenges. To tackle these, a dynamic national strategy and farsighted policies are required that go beyond state boundaries. The DG/IG conference should, therefore, serve as a platform for serious thinking on issues confronting the police. It is necessary to provide impetus to senior officers to make an objective assessment of where they stand today and what they are required to do in the next five years to meet the complex challenges of policing and internal security.

GS-3, Public Admin 2, Uncategorized

‘Smart’ to ‘sensitive’ policing

In 2014 Modi shifted DGP conference’s permanent venue from Delhi to Guwahati for the first time since its inception in 1965, where he spoke on

  1. S-Sensitive and Strict,
  2. M-Modern and Mobile,
  3. A-Alert and Accountable,
  4. R-Responsive and Reliable,
  5. T-Techno savvy and Trained” police.

This year PM said-

“sensitivity has to be vital element of policing. Police forces should establish strong links with local community and connect with people.”

Need of police reforms on following parameters-

  1. Reforms needed at PS (police station) level,
  2. raising competitive spirit at PS level,
  3. reviving beat constable system to collect information,
  4. improving behavior of policemen, maintaining cleanliness at PS and winning confidence of vulnerable sections,”
  5. “Initiative towards SMART policing,”
  6. “Inter-state police coordination and bringing symmetry in police insignia/uniform,”
  7. “Changes needed in laws/procedures to improve investigation and prosecution.
  8. Improving coordination among prosecution, investigation and judiciary,”
  9. woman safety and tourist police.
  10. Need of police university and Forensic Science University like in Gujarat (Gujarat Forensic Science University, and the Raksha Shakti University, to upgrade quality of police training )

Achilles heel of the Indian Police is the inadequately staffed, under-equipped, and soulless police station, something that has brought ignominy to the whole force. At very few police stations, even now, can you get a complaint registered without greasing the palm of the station house officer or his minions. This is shameful but true.

what we need is not more policing, but what can rightly be called “smart” policing. There are limits to government spending on the police. The latter should learn to utilise available sources with the greatest skill and economy, and not fritter them away in wasteful exercises.

Centre and State lists-

“Police” is a State subject under List II, Entry 2 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. (“Public Order” is one entry ahead in the same list and schedule.)

This is a rigid distribution of powers, something that our founding fathers debated extensively and settled for. They believed that the States comprising the quasi-federal structure needed control over the police if they were to be truly effective in maintaining public order.

As things stand, the Centre cannot create a police force which enjoys powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). (The constitutionality of the National Investigation Agency under the Union Home Ministry is a matter of debate.)

This is why all paramilitary forces like the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Central Industrial Security Force are not police forces in the real sense of the term. They have only limited powers of arrest and detention, and they ultimately depend on the State police for their day-to-day operations. Even the Central Bureau of Investigation has to get the consent of the State government to exercise powers of investigation outlined in the CrPC when it operates in a State. This is why the Centre and the States will have to work in harmony and beyond considerations of politics.

Unfortunately, the past few years have been rough. There have been specific instances involving senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers serving in the States, who were pushed into controversy for no fault of theirs. Instances such as States not releasing IPS officers for Central deputation, and the Union Home Ministry snatching away IPS officers from States without the latter’s consent, have all caused a lot of friction and embarrassment. Yet, if you ignore these as mere aberrations, there is a generally healthy relationship between New Delhi and the States in the matter of strengthening the police, especially in times of crises.

This is how it should be in a civilised democracy. There is an acute need to divorce politics from policing.

Q.  “The Achilles heel of the Indian Police is the inadequately staffed, under-equipped, and soulless police station, something that has brought ignominy to the whole force.” In your opinion, what needs to be done to change this image of police in India? Critically discuss. (200 Words)

GS-3, Public Admin 2, Uncategorized

CCTNS Project: Modernizing Police

Recently, govt. extended the deadline for implementation of the Rs 2,000-crore CCTNS project to March 2017.

cctns-infograph1

What is the CCTNS project?

CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt of India.

The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) project was launched in 2009 in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks.

It aims at establishing seamless connectivity among 15,000 police stations across the country, and an additional 5,000 offices of supervisory police officers.

What are the objectives of CCTNS?

  • Make the Police functioning citizen friendly and more transparent by automating the functioning of Police Stations.
  • Improve delivery of citizen-centric services through effective usage of ICT.
  • Provide the Investigating Officers of the Civil Police with tools, technology and information to facilitate investigation of crime and detection of criminals.
  • Facilitate interaction and sharing of information among Police Stations, Districts, State/UT headquarters, etc.
  • Assist senior Police Officers in better management of Police Force.
  • Keep track of the progress of Cases, including in Courts.
  • Reduce manual and redundant records keeping.

How was such an idea of CCTNS conceived?

The project was the brainchild of former Home Minister P Chidambaram.

CCTNS entailed digitisation of data related to FIRs registered, cases investigated, and chargesheets filed in all police stations, in order to develop a national database of crime and criminals.

It was envisaged as a system to facilitate collection, storage, retrieval, analysis, transfer and sharing of data and information at the police station.

Why was this system needed?

There was lack of communication between police of different states. Each police station was an island, where records were maintained manually.

The need was felt for a technology-driven network which would enable real- time interaction between police stations.

What is the progress made in the project?

2009: CCEA approved the project with an allocation of Rs. 2000 crore. The initial deadline for setting it up was 2012, which was revised to March 2015.

2015: Union Cabinet decided to revamp and fast-track the project, and complete its implementation by March 2017.

New Development: Govt. has decided to implement the Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) by integrating CCTNS with e-courts, e-prisons, forensics andprosecution in order to transfer data among the various pillars of the criminal justice system.

Over 11,600 police stations countrywide are now using the CCTNS software to register FIRs. More than 26 lakh FIRs were registered through CCTNS over the past year.

How will citizens benefit from CCTNS?

It will lead to the creation of a central citizen portal with links to state-level citizen portals.

This will bring several citizen-friendly services online such as police verification for purposes including passports, reporting a crime, tracking the progress of a case, reporting of grievances against police officials, access to victim compensation fund, and legal services.

A list of proclaimed offenders, sex offenders and most wanted criminals will also bepublished on the citizen portal.