Explained | Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)

Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) was initiated in 2013 as a continuation of CCTNS

The phase-2 of the Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) project will inter-link standalone IT systems for seamless data exchange and also provide new technologies for smart policing, Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)

• Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) was launched in 2009. Implemented by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), it was rolled out in all states/UTs and it has become the backbone of police in India. CCTNS software is now available in all the police stations across the country.

• Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) was initiated in 2013 as a continuation of CCTNS.

• ICJS is a national platform for information exchange and analytics of all the pillars of the criminal justice system.

These pillars are:

i) Police (Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network Systems)

ii) e-Forensics for Forensic Labs

iii) e-Courts for Courts

iv) e-Prosecution for Public Prosecutors

v) e-Prisons for Prisons. 

• National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is responsible for the implementation of the project in association with National Informatics Centre (NIC).

• The ICJS, under the ministry of home ministry, enables a nationwide search on police, prisons & courts databases across all states/UTs in the country. Consumption of data between pillars is also being enabled. 

• The purpose of ICJS is to reduce errors and time taken in sharing  necessary information between the pillars, which often lead to larger challenges like longer duration of trials, poor conviction rates, transit losses of documents, etc.

• The ICJS platform is an effective tool for the case and court management, as all the relevant information of a case will be available in real time for use by the courts. Compliance of judicial orders and summons can also be achieved expeditiously, ensuring effective time management.

• The project will enable national level crime analytics to be published at an increased frequency, which will help the policymakers as well as lawmakers in taking appropriate and timely action.

• Missing persons, vehicle information system, armed licenses information system and ministry of women and child development have also been brought under the umbrella of ICJS.

• The project is implemented as a Central Sector Scheme.

• In phase-1 of the ICJS project, individual IT systems have been implemented and stabilised. Also, search of records have been enabled on these systems.

• Under phase-2, the system is being built on the principle of ‘one data one entry’, whereby data is entered only once in one pillar and the same is then available in all other pillars without the need to re-enter the data in each pillar.

The objectives of ICJS Phase-II are:

i) Facilitate seamless integration between the various data sets of police, prisons, forensics, prosecution and courts.

ii) Enhance data quality by reducing errors in data entry.

iii) Increase effectiveness and timeliness in investigations, and consequently in trials, due to easy access of data between pillars.

iv) Enable effective use of data analytics and modern tools available in the investigations. 

v) Reduce dependence on paper records in decision-making.

vi) Enable a shift towards “smart policing”.

• The expected outcome is that the justice delivery system would become speedy, transparent and accountable.

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