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Tracking fugitives everywhere

Context:

Indian law on extradition is spread across the Indian Penal Code as well as various laws pertaining to narcotic drugs, Information Technology, hijacking, and so on.

Relevance:

GS-III: Internal Security Challenges (Various Agencies and other interventions regarding Internal Security and their mandate), GS-II: Polity and Governance (Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Legal frameworks in India on Tracking Fugitives
  2. Measures taken by the government in this regard

Legal frameworks in India on Tracking Fugitives

  • India’s legal framework with respect to extradition of fugitives is very robust. Various laws like Extradition Act, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, Prevention of Corruption Act, Prevention of Money Laundering act etc. have detailed extradition provisions related to fugitives.
  • India also signed bilateral Extradition treaties with 43 countries for extradition of fugitives
  • There exists a system of tracking criminals worldwide –through Interpol Notices and the sharing of immigration databases of different countries. There is a separate Interpol wing of CBI to receive red corner notices from Interpol regarding the information about fugitive criminals
  • Generally central investigative agencies like CBI, ED or NIA pursue the fugitives vigorously using their expertise and above legal frameworks. However, state police departments have a tendency to close investigations once the accused have absconded.  Because (unlike international tracking) there is no coordinated system or database for tracking criminals or wanted persons domestically
  • In the absence of such a system, it is relatively easy for criminals from one police station/jurisdiction to melt into the population in any other area, almost undetected

Measures taken by the government in this regard

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS)

  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) is a project initiated in June 2009 which aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the Police Station level. This will be done through adoption of principles of e-Governance, and creation of a nationwide networked infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system around “investigation of crime and detection of criminals”. CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt. of India.
  • The Full implementation of the Project with all the new components would lead to a Central citizen portal having linkages with State level citizen portals that will provide a number of citizen friendly services like Police Verification for various purposes including passport verification, reporting a crime including cyber-crime and online tracking of the case progress etc.

National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)

  • NATGRID initially started in 2009 is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information and putting them together on one platform.
  • It links at least 10 Central government Intelligence and investigation agencies, such as the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing and others have access to the data on a secured platform.
  • NATGRID is exempted from the Right to Information Act, 2005 under sub-section (2) of Section 24.
  • The NATGRID enables multiple security and intelligence agencies to access a database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details, among others, from a common platform.
  • The 10 user agencies will be linked independently with certain databases which will be procured from 21 providing organisations including telecom, tax records, bank, immigration etc. to generate intelligence inputs.

-Source: The Hindu

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September 2022
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