DailyPost 1599

Arrests have been a bone of contention since times immemorial and going by the present trends it would continue to remain so in the foreseeable future. The power to arrest and the necessity of it can do down as the strongest of the powers of the state. The use, misuse and disuse have been regular issues of prime time debates, sometimes for months together, *as it provides juicy details and gossip to criminal investigation, in which media loves to soak as on a sunny beach. You can spin any number of stories out of it. You can create TV channels out of these stories. The chase for the accused, the location of accused, timing and mode of arrest would always remain in the realm of conjecture. *Given the background, the duality of interpretation is in built.

Crime Criminal Tracking Network & Systems, CCTNS project, brought police, policing and criminal investigation on to the digital mode. The issues related to arrest and safeguards thereof belong to a different trajectory of activities. It can be termed as the Arrest Life Cycle, which starts which somebody being named accused in a criminal case to his final conviction or acquittal. Courts have always felt the necessity to streamline the anomalies and have laid down the rules with clarity. It does not cover the pre-arrest and use and misuse of discretion therein. The time spent in police custody on judicial directions still remains an area which can be looked into in further detail. Once in jail as undertrial, the movement to courts and back and associated issues can also get complicated at times.

Supreme Court directions on arrest have been neatly laid down in the D.K. Basu vs the State of West Bengal in 1997. The uploading of FIRs was a momentous judgement and for sure has helped take a giant leap foreword. The issue of keeping the track the guidelines to the minutest detail, each one of these makes a world of difference to the individual’s existence; from police officers identification tag, to informing relative or friend, nature of witness, legal counsel, medical examination etc. The detailing, pace of activities, the connected legally mandated officials, the location, the travel time etc needs to be recorded in real time on the same proposed digital system.

The photos and videos needs to be updated with location to have a proper check. All the activities have to happen on the same software, with different gadgets and from different locations, data being uploaded in real time. Any issue cropping up / discrepancy should throw an alert to the controlling officers. The business logic has to be neatly hard coded, warding of any chance of  manipulation. *This can be called the Arrest Monitoring System. It needs big will, considerable effort, some time and little money and a tool of tangible rule of law would be in place. Everybody perforce would fall in line and over a period of time, it would be the norm.


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