Union Government launches India’s first National Registry of Sexual Offenders

Sep 20, 2018 14:08 IST
India’s first National Registry of Sexual Offenders rolled out

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.

CCPWC Portal

  • The portal is convenient and user friendly, as it will enable complainants to report cases without disclosing their identity.
  • This will not only help the victims or complainants but also help the civil society organisations  and  responsible citizens  to anonymously  report complaints pertaining to child pornography, child sexual abuse material or sexually explicit material such as rape and gang rape.
  • The complainants would also be able to upload the objectionable content and URL to assist in the investigation by the state police.
  • The complaints registered through the portal will be handled by police authorities of the respective states and union territories.
  • Further, the portal will enable the victim or complainant to track his or her report by opting for “report and track” option using the registered mobile number.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will proactively identify such objectionable content and take up with intermediaries for its removal.
  • The NCRB has already been notified  as the Government of India agency  to issue notices under Section 79(3)b of IT Act for the same.

NDSO Portal

Key Highlights

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.

Data storage

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.

Background

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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