7 Nov 2022 8:42 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to establish a Task Force to work out a methodology of sharing the existing digital records with courts and to consider digitization of all processes.While dealing with a criminal appeal where it was put to "great difficulty" in going through the documents submitted by the investigation officer, a division bench...
The Karnataka High Court has directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to establish a Task Force to work out a methodology of sharing the existing digital records with courts and to consider digitization of all processes.
While dealing with a criminal appeal where it was put to "great difficulty" in going through the documents submitted by the investigation officer, a division bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj and Justice G Basavaraja said,
"Time is not far when any handwritten documents will not be acceptable or accepted by a Court. Production of handwritten documents comes in the way of digitalization of the judicial process which is of prime importance today."
The bench expressed displeasure at the pace at which digitalisation was being carried out by the Police department. It said, "It is rather surprising that the police IT having commenced digitalization in the year 2008, the Court is still receiving handwritten documents in this case in the year 2016."
The Task Force will comprise of Police IT Head, Principal Secretary E-Governance Department, Government of Karnataka, nominee of the Director of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), a representative of the Director of the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems).
The Court was hearing appeal against conviction of husband of deceased victim under sections 498-A and 302 of IPC and conviction of mother-in-law of deceased for the offence under Section 498-A of IPC.
While the appeal was allowed and conviction order quashed, the Court expressed its difficulty in handling the records/documents submitted by the investigation officer inasmuch the handwriting was not good and there was not much space between each written line. "The paperbook filled, many of the documents are blurred on account of multiple photocopies, requiring us to examine the original records. Even the original records due to passage of time in some place have faded, become brittle and are torn," it added.
Following which it directed the DGP to issue necessary instructions to all the Investigating Officers to record the statements not by hand but by digital process by typing in appropriate software.
The court issued the following directions for the consideration of the task force to be constituted:
1. All the entries are made digitally. The documents to be signed digitally by providing digital signatures to the Investigating Officers and other persons. When such digital signatures are not available, physical signatures of such persons to be obtained are scanned and uploaded into the Police IT System and digitally signed by the person uploading.
2. The FIR, charge sheet and other documents, etc, to be in digital format to be shared through the Interoperable Criminal Judicial System (ICJS) to the Courts.
3. CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems) being a portal wherein information of crimes and criminals are maintained by law enforcement/investigative agencies for necessary reference and use as per law and the same being considered to be an authentic source of crime and criminal related information it is required that such information is available in the Case Information System (CIS) maintained by the courts and the same in integrated to achieve the object of ICJS (Interoperable Criminal Justice System).
4. It is therefore required that First Information Reports, Crime Details Forms, Arrest Memos, Search/Seizure Lists, Mahazars, Statements, Documents obtained during investigation from hospitals, Road Transport Authorities, FSL etc., Final report in the form of Charge Sheets, B reports, C reports etc., are digitally generated, signed and shared with courts handling bail matters, trial matters, appellate matters, revisional matters.
5. Case number to be mapped to the FIR number and vice versa so as to make it easier for sharing of data.
6. While conducting and recording mahazar, it would also be required that suitable equipment is issued to the concerned Investigating Officer to record a mahazar, etc., in an electronic format by incorporating latitude and longitude of the place where the mahazar is conducted including photographing or videographing of the said location, which could be so done by issuing bodycams to the investigating officers which would be directly uploaded into the server of police IT, thus maintaining integrity and veracity of the same. The said equipment could also be used for recording of dying declarations, which could be uploaded directly in the police IT server. Thus, removing the requirement of third party private services like that obtained by the Investigating Officer in the present matter.
7. In the event of any electronic evidence being required, the same to be produced through a recognized entity like the FSL, RFSL or any mobile unit deputed by the said FSL or a particular unit designated by the Director General of Police.
8. Data from Investigating wing, Scientific wing(FSL), Prison wing and any other wing relating thereto to be integrated.
Case Title: PUNIT S/O BHIMSINGH RAJPUT v. STATE OF KARNATAKA
Case No: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 100191 OF 2019 (C-) C/W CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 100194 OF 2019.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 447
Date of Order: 4TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2022
Appearance: SHAIKH SAOUD, ADVOCATE for appellants; V.M.BANAKAR, ADDL. SPP for respondents.
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