Mon, 04 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): The Law Commission of India in its report to Union Ministry of Law and Justice suggested that all e-FIRs should be forwarded to the concerned courts by linking the website of police with e-Courts portal.

This can be achieved by using the Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS), which allows digital signing of e-FIR and automatically sending it to the court.

The Law Commission in its report related to enabling online registration of FIR, stated that the online portal developed for registering e-FIR or e-Complaint must be user-friendly.

A Centralized System, as proposed, may be set up for processing information in order to expand the mode of electronic communication. The police officer shall use the information provided on this portal to check whether a cognizable offence has been committed or not and will proceed accordingly.

In this regard, the Commission recommends that suitable amendments be made to the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Information Technology Act, 2000, the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and other legislation to facilitate the registration of e-FIR.

The report further stated that the proposal of electronic registration of FIR which is being partly implemented for specified crimes in eight states (as per the information provided by BPRD) has taken one step forward under Clause 173 in the proposed Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, which will replace the CrPC, 1973.

However, as per the proposed Clause 173 in the new Bill, while information can be given electronically for cognizable offences without any bar on jurisdiction, the police officer is required to take it on record after it has been signed within three days of giving the first information.

Further, the same has to be kept for record in a book by the Police Officer as prescribed by the State Government.

ln order to promote awareness among masses for the implementation of registration of e-FIR, information regarding this facility shall be widely disseminated so that the common man is encouraged to report offences without facing the hurdles of procedural formalities, it suggested.

For the successful implementation of the recommended IT initiatives, capacity building at various levels is extremely important. Hence, it is recommended that training programs must cover general/ basic computer awareness programs in addition to CCTNS-specific programs to ensure adoption of the system at the police station level, stated Law Commission.

The Legal Services Clinics in the Law Schools/Colleges universities should act as a catalyst and facilitator in bringing about this online revolution, stated the law Commission.

Law Commission further stated that It must be ensured that data provided while registering the FIR online is not compromised with and there is no infringement of privacy of the partiesinvolved. Privacy of the Informant/Complainant and the person named as 'Suspect' on the Centralized National Portal is to be secured till the e-FIR is not signed by the Informant/ Complainant.

In case the registered information is not signed by the informant deliberately within the prescribed time, the information shall be deleted from the Centralized National portal after 2 weeks. The privacy of sexual offence victims must be given prime consideration at all stages.

In order to avoid false registration of e-Complaints/e-FIR and for the constructive use of the facility, it is important that the verification of complainant or informant is done using e-authentication techniques.

This can be achieved by verifying mobile number through OTP for the purpose of registering e-FIR/e-Complaint and mandating the uploading of valid ID proof like Aadhaar or any other Government-approved ID.

Declaration by the informant that the facts contained in the e-FIR are true to the best of knowledge, information and belief of the informant must be made mandatory, stated Law Commission in its report. (ANI)

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