In a first, the Union Government released a National Database of Sexual Offenders (NDSO) on September 20, 2018. The database was launched by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. With the launch, India became the ninth nation to maintain such a thorough database.
The database would mainly include key details of the convicted sexual offenders such as their names, photographs, residential address, DNA samples, fingerprints, Aadhaar numbers and Personal Account Numbers (PANs). It is an initiative under the National Mission for Safety of Women. Our correspondent reports, the database will be maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
On the occasion, the Home Minister also launched the Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC) portal to check objectionable online content. The portal “cybercrime.gov.in” will receive complaints from citizens on objectionable online content related to child pornography, child sexual abuse material and sexually explicit material such as rape and gang rape.
• The database will comprise more than 4.5 lakh cases and will have the profiles of first-time offenders as well as repeat offenders. It will include offenders convicted under charges of rape, gang rape, POCSO and eve teasing.
• The compilation will be done on the basis of information from prisons across the country. The offenders will be classified based on their criminal history to determine if they pose a serious danger to the community or not. It will help the investigating agency for the speedy trial of the cases.
• It is an initiative under the National Mission for Safety of Women. It will be maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under the Union Home Ministry.
• While currently, the database does not have the records of Juvenile offenders, they are likely to be included in the registry at a later stage.
• The database will, however, be only available to the law enforcement agencies for investigation and employee verification.
The national registry will maintain the data of the cases classified as posing low danger for a period of 15 years.
The data of the cases, which are classified as moderate danger, will be stored for 25 years.
The data for cases involving repeat and habitual offenders, criminals, convicted gang rapists and custodial rapes will be stored permanently.
The Union Government had decided to set up the National Registry of Sexual Offenders in April 2018 after nationwide outrage over rising cases of sexual assault, including the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir and the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.
With the roll out of the registry, India will become the ninth nation in the world to set up and maintain such a detailed database of sexual offenders.
The other nations to maintain such a database include the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.
While in the US, the database can also be accessed by the common public, in rest of the nations, it can only be accessed by the law enforcement agencies.
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