The Division Bench of Delhi High Court comprising Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal on Thursday sought for a status report from Delhi Police in a Suo Motu case initiated by itself in pursuance to a direction received by the PIL committee of Delhi High Court.
The petition dealt with the delay in registration of an FIR and that due to that delay, precious time gets lost. It mentioned,“Due to delay in lodging of FIR the “golden hour” of investigation has been lost and in all probability important leads have dried up.”
The petition also mentioned about the direction of the court through an order dated 13th May, 2019 regarding online registration of FIR’s for missing persons. Court had directed the Delhi Police to consider allowing online registration of FIRs by way of SMS, emails and WhatsApp. The suggestion was made as it was observed in a number of writ petitions filed by the family members of missing persons either the FIRs had not been registered or had been registered belatedly. A status report was submitted to this court dated 29th May, 2019 by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Legal Cell), Police Headquarters which stated,
“In this regard, it is submitted that to reduce human interface and to streamline the process of reporting regarding missing persons including children, an e-facility shall be developed, through which the citizens shall be able to report such missing on the citizen portal of Delhi Police through internet. The service shall be provided at the portal of Delhi Police through internet. This shall ensure prompt and timely police response and take the service delivery closer to the citizens of Delhi.”
The proposed Road Map for online reporting on Missing Persons through Delhi Police Web Portal and Mobile Application was also attached.
“Proposed Road Map for online reporting on Missing Persons through Delhi Police Web Portal and Mobile Application.
A facility to lodge online report of a missing person including children on Citizen Portal of Delhi Police through Internet to provide service at the doorstep of citizen and to ensure prompt and timely police response. This service is being launched through Web and Mobile Application to reduce the human interface in lodging of such complaints.
The following procedure/workflow is proposed to facilitate online reporting of missing persons through separate icon on Delhi Police Website & Mobile Phone App.
Step 1: Submission of Details by the Complainant
It is proposed to provide a link on Delhi Police website i.e. http://delhipolice.nic.in to lodge a missing person report on the citizens services. Similar, facility will also be provided through mobile phones.
On clicking the “Report a Missing Person/Child” link, the missing person registration form will seek the following details from the complainant:
- Personal Details of the person/child missing
- Photograph of missing person/child – if available
- Place of missing/Last seen place – if known
- Date & Time of missing – Approximately
- Personal Details of the Complainant including address/area police station
- Mobile No. & Email ID of the Complainant
After submission of above information, the computer application system will generate PDF report and forward it to following stake holders to initiate police response mechanism i.e.
a) Dispatch PCR Van/Motorcycle
b) Activate local police station /control room for police action
c) Acknowledge complainant on email/mobile about receipt of complaint and details of Enquiry Officer
d) SHO/concerned police station will be alerted simultaneously, if PS area is available
e) Otherwise, PCR Command Room Call Centre will contact the complainant to ascertain the PS area and initiate the police response mechanism.
Step 3: Enquiry by an Officer
An Enquiry Officer will be assigned at Police Station level for further enquiry as per S.O. No. 252/2010 (Ops. – 47)
Step 4: Registration of FIR
SHO of the concerned area Police Station shall ensure that:-
a) FIR shall be lodged immediately for children & juveniles upto 18 years and adult if there are specific allegations or suspicion or any foul play
b) Where no specific allegations are made or suspicion is expressed an FIR shall be lodged as per the provisions of Standing Order being revised on the directions of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in W.P (Crl.) 1560/2017 in the matter of Sadan Haldar Vs. State of NCT of Delhi & ORS.
Step 5: Case Progress
The Complainant will be provided alerts on his/her mobile about progress of the case from time to time.
Step 6: Monitoring
ACP/Sub-Division shall ensure that SHO concerned takes the required action on the information received, within 24 Hours as per Step No. 4 above. ACP and SHO will be able to monitor the progress of action on the pending complaints and cases through their respective Dashboards in CCTNS application on desktop to review action taken as per S.O. No. 252/2010 (being revised as mentioned above)
Timelines and Development Cost
M/s Tech Mahindra, the System Integrator (SI) for the CCTNS Project in Delhi has submitted an initial proposal for development of above system. A timeline of 90 days has been provided by the SI for development, testing & deployment of the required functionality on Web. The Mobile Application may take a further one month.
The total cost estimation for development of Web & Mobile modules is approximately Rs. 8 to 10 lacs.
These proposed web and mobile applications will function on/utilize Delhi Police existing infrastructure i.e. server, storage, networking bandwidth and other existing equipments at Data Centre.”
The Court is further of the view that at the police station level as well as at the district level, the investigation procedure followed by AHTU/Crime Branch should be replicated. It asked for a fresh status report with regard to the aforesaid developments within eight weeks and a fresh status report with regard to the facts of the present case within four weeks.
The next hearing of the matter will be on 05 July, 2019.
Read Judgement Here.
-India Legal Bureau