Government Approves Implementation Of Phase II Of ICJS Project
Government has approved the implementation of phase II of the Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) project during the period 2022-23 to 2025-26. The ICJS is a national platform for enabling integration of the main IT system used for delivery of Criminal Justice in the country by five pillars namely Police (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. The project will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme at a total of 3,375 crore rupees. The phase two of the ICJS project will be a step towards ensuring effective and modern policing.
The ICJS system would be made available through a dedicated and secure cloud-based infrastructure with high-speed connectivity. The National Crime Records Bureau will be responsible for the implementation of the project in association with the National Informatics Center. In Phase-I of the ICJS project, individual IT systems have been implemented and stabilised; also search of records have been enabled on these systems. Under Phase-II, 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.
In its budgetary allocation of Rs 1,85,776 crore, the Union home ministry has set aside Rs 590 crore for the inter-operable criminal justice system (ICJS), Rs 300 crore for modernisation of forensic capabilities, Rs 500 crore for modernisation of prisons and Rs 150 crore for emergency response system as “new schemes” and projects. The traditional heads of police, paramilitary forces and central agencies like the Intelligence Bureau also bagged a large share of the MHA’s budget which stands at the fourth position among central ministries. However, the focus of the MHA’s budgetary provisions is integrating the crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS) with e-courts and e-prison databases with the ICJS. The home ministry is a key pillar in the ICJS initiative taken by the government in 2019 for seamless transfer of data and information for improving the criminal justice system in the country.
Going forward, the other pillars of the criminal justice system - Forensics, Prosecution, Juvenile homes and a nationwide Fingerprint data base of criminals - will be linked with it in a phased manner. The integration will be achieved by providing access to the Judiciary, Police and Prisons with robust facilities for retrieving criminal data; making national crime and criminal data searches easy and eventually using data analytics for preventive policing and faster delivery of justice. Meanwhile, the traditional heads under which budgetary allocation has been substantial is Rs 200 crore for schemes for woman safety; Rs 3,768 crore for the Census operations and modernisation of police forces which saw a decreased allocation from Rs 2,803.11 to Rs 2,754.16 crore. The Phase II of the ICJS project, closely monitored by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, will be a step towards ensuring effective and modern policing. It will be implemented as a central sector scheme.