UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 25 March 2022

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POLICE, TECH AND PREJUDICE

What the article is about?

  • Talks about the concerns associated with digital policing methods and caste-based prejudice prevailing.

Syllabus: GS-I Caste-based prejudices; GS-II Criminal Justice system; GS-III Technology and related issues; Essay – Concerns associated with technology

Digital Policing methods:

  • Recently, the central government approved the implementation of Phase II of the Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) project by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • ICJS is a national platform for enabling integration of the main IT system used for the delivery of Criminal Justice in the country.
    • It seeks to integrate the five pillars of the system:
      • Police (through Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network Systems),
      • e-Forensics for Forensic Labs,
      • e-Courts for Courts,
      • e-Prosecution for Public Prosecutors and
      • e-Prisons for Prisons.
    • National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will be responsible for the implementation of the project in association with the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) is a plan scheme conceived in the light of the experience of a non-plan scheme namely – Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA).
  • CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Specific concerns mentioned in the article:

  • A direct threat to SC judgment in KS Puttaswamy case, related to the fundamental right to privacy
  • Digital policing measures may lead to mass surveillance, particularly of certain oppressed caste communities.
    • Nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes were ascribed “criminality by birth” and considered as “hereditary criminals addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences” under the colonial Criminal Tribes Act, 1871.
    • It has been replaced with the murky Habitual Offenders (HO) provisions.

Conclusion:

  • Technology can make policing better and also more dangerous
  • Sufficient safeguards to be adopted to balance justice and rights.



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