The government of Punjab is developing an Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) under which departments such as the police, prosecution, reclamation and probation, judiciary and prisons, which are directly or indirectly related to the criminal justice system, will be integrated through a central computerised system.
An officer shared that the system would reduce data entry redundancy and paper-based processing. “It will also improve information accuracy and information timeliness. The system will help track the progress/status of a particular case and a criminal,” he said. “Besides, more than one person or agency may view a file at a time.”
The Punjab Information and Technology Board (PITB) will play a role in developing the database and the system. The drive is being led by Punjab Police Information and Technology DIG Zulfiqar Hameed.
The main postulate/technique of the initiative is “system to system stalking”. A lot of automation has already been done in all these sectors/departments independently and much of the data is now being generated digitally. Through ICJS, all such data will be integrated, meaning it will automatically be uploaded from the departments concerned.
Independently developed databases will now be integrated under the ICJS. Previously, once an FIR was registered, it was uploaded to the police’s Public Complaints Management System. During the investigation process, evidence was be uploaded on PolCom. The matter was then forwarded to judiciary and prosecution.
These various entities had similar digital databases. After conviction, the accused was sent to jail. That was where the prisons department would come into the equation and it, too, had developed a digital database through its Prison Management System. During the process, agencies like the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) were also engaged and maintained a database. After the ICJS comes into being, these programmes will be integrated based on “system-to-system stalking”. Further data, being developed by all these departments, will automatically be integrated into it.
The integrations envisioned for the system included FIR data entered into an automated Police Station Record Management System (FIR system). It may be directly fed into the Prosecution Case Management System which may lead to case creation. It also included integration of road certificates and challans between Police Station Record Management System and Prosecution Case Management System. Plans also included the integration of the Prosecution Case Management System with Judiciary’s Case Flow Management System (CFMS).
Case, suspect and victim details etc may automatically be posted to the judiciary’s CFMS by the Prosecution Case Management System. Also, the data of court proceedings and hearings may be entered in Judiciary CFMS system and subsequently fed to the Prosecution Case Flow Management and Police Station Record Management systems.
Criminal data (biometrics, pictures, personal details, crime history and modus operandi etc) from the Criminal Record Management System of Police may be shared in real time with the Prison Management System to set a baseline. Subsequently, prison related details could be entered.
The decision of cases and suspects may be entered in the Judiciary CFMS which can then be fed back to the Prosecution, Prison and Police automated systems to complete an end to end cycle. It was proposed that the Issuance of bail-bonds, warrants and summons etc may be digitally recorded in the Judiciary Case Flow Management System. Prisons Management System and Police Station Record Management Systems could then be automatically updated with this information through integration.