//India to digitise law enforcement

India to digitise law enforcement

New Delhi | April 18, 2006 1:15:11 AM IST

An ambitious project to extensively use cutting edge digital technology in investigating crimes and to link police forces with the judiciary was unveiled by Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal here Monday.

The project, formulated by the Technology Information, Forcasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), will facilitate digital recording of court proceedings and crime scenes as well as the "brain fingerprint profiling" of crime suspects.

Addressing a news conference on the new initiative, Sibal said: "This is an effort to help the judicial process achieve better amenities and provide justice with less chance of error.

"The four new technologies – digital recording of court proceedings, brain fingerprint profiling, digital penrecording system – will give teeth to the police department and revolutionise the existing judicial process," Sibal said. and paper technology for capturing information at police stations, and crime scene

He said that these initiatives were framed after consulting the National Judicial Academy at Bhopal and "there is every possibility of the honourable court accepting them".

While the brain fingerprint profiling will help in the collection of opinion in a more standardised manner, the digital courtroom initiative will record the total proceedings of cases but they will not be open to public scrutiny.

"It will be a tamperproof system for recording, storing and retrieving the trials. But they will be used only by courts and won’t be available to the public," said Anand Patwardhan, executive director of TIFAC.

The courtroom initiative will be first implemented in high courts across the country, before being extended to other courts.

"The next phase will link the court room, forensic lab, police stations and jail through videoconferencing," Patwardhan said.

The information that is created at police stations through integrated investigation forms will be recorded with digital pens to facilitate its storage in a digital format.

"It will help rapid transmission of data and swift retrieval of information. Initially the technology will be deployed in three police stations – Gamdevi, Malabar Hill and L.T. Marg – in Mumbai," Patwardhan said.

The crime scene recording system is a portable computing machine for acquisition, storage and retrieval of crime scene data in the form of text, audio, and video for subsequent use in court. It will initially be used by police in Bangalore.

The system will be enabled with GPRS and Wi-Fi connectivity to a central repository for storing data collected by the portable device.

Sibal also said that all the projects, which are to be completed within 12 to 18 months, would have four separate central servers to regulate their activities.

"An apex committee under the chairmanship of senior advocate Fali S. Nariman has been constituted by TIFAC to steer and guide the programme," he said.