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Government to launch web portal listing sex offenders, wanted criminals by March 2017

The portal, according to the ministry of home affairs, would be accessed by millions of people across the country and will not only enhance transparency but also reduce processing time.

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Women and parents of children, who live under the constant threat of sexual predators, might witness some relief by March 2017, as the Central government on Wednesday approved, among other proposals, introduction of a citizen portal which will constitute a nation-wide comprehensive list of sex offenders. 

The portal, according to the ministry of home affairs, would be accessed by millions of people across the country and will not only enhance transparency but also reduce processing time.

The list of proclaimed offenders, sex offenders and most wanted criminals will be updated regularly with the help othe law enforcing agencies as well as the citizens.

The portal, a part of a new component of the Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) project, will also enlist proclaimed offenders and most wanted criminals.

According to the ministry, the portal, which will be created at both Centre and state levels, will speed up the service delivery, bring more transparency and make things convenient for the citizens.

Among other newly introduced components are e-governance projects such as Aadhaar, National Population Register, Vaahan project of the ministry of surfacetransport and National Emergency Response System project of the ministry of home. The project will also include mobile applications for police officials and advanced features such as facial recognition and advance business analytics.

The project, which was sanctioned by the UPA government in 2009, has been delayed and was approved by Union Cabinet on Wednesday.

According to the MHA, the project will see a major revamp with the implementation of Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) which aims to integrate CCTNS with e-courts, e-prisons, forensics and prosecution- the key components of the criminal justice system. 

The CCTNS project had originally started with the objective of interconnecting about 15,000 police stations and additional 5,000 offices. The total outlay for the project is Rs 2,000 crore, out of which Rs 878 crore has already been released to the implementing agencies and the balance will be released during the project implementation period. 

The project also aims to taken into account complaints against police officials by introducing citizen-friendly services which include a component wherein people can go online and report against the cops. 

"The ministry also said that the central citizen portal will have linkages with state level citizen portals which will provide a number of citizen-friendly services. These include services such as police verification for various purposes, including passport, reporting a crime, including cyber crime, and online tracking of the case progress, online reporting of grievances against police officials, accessing victim compensation fund and legal services," a cabinet note from the MHA said.

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