- GS-2: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive; Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
- GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Tracking Fugitives Everywhere
Context: The number of cases where coordinated efforts are made to pursue fugitives – domestically or internationally – are hardly documented.
- If the number of Red Corner Notices issued are of any indication, only about 750 such criminals are wanted by Indian agencies. The number of Blue Corner Notices issued is about 300.
- Lack of Domestic Tracking System: Theoretically there exists a system of tracking criminals worldwide – through Interpol Notices and the sharing of immigration databases of different countries – but there is no coordinated system or database for tracking criminals or wanted persons domestically.
- Criminals remain underground exploiting Indian Police system: In the absence of such domestic tracking system, it is relatively easy for criminals from one police station/jurisdiction to melt into the population in any other area, almost undetected.
- Nationwide Database: The creation of a nationwide database of wanted persons, which could be accessible for police agencies, the public and others (like passport and immigration authorities).
- The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems and the National Intelligence Grid are efforts in the right direction, but more integration is desirable.
- National Notice System: A nation-wide system of ‘Wanted Persons Notices’, similar to Interpol Notices, is required, to help track fugitives domestically.
- Dedicated Units: Countries like the U.S. have functional inter-State extradition and fugitive tracking systems; India needs to set up such dedicated ‘fugitive tracking units’.
- Greater Coordination: There needs to be enhanced integration between immigration agencies, State police agencies, Interpol-New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry and Home Ministry and central investigation agencies. Intelligence agencies also need to pool in.
- Bilateral Agreements for Sharing Database: India can plug its loophole by sharing its ‘wanted’ database or providing access to it to foreign embassies on a reciprocal basis or through treaties or arrangements. All this will help detect possible plans of criminals to abscond abroad.
- Specialised set up for International Collaboration: The entire gamut of activities pertaining to fugitives, from investigation to extradition, needs to be incorporated into a specialised set-up with an Integrated International Cooperation Division (IICD) at the top.
- The IICD should have linkages with proposed fugitive tracking units at the State level.
- This would ensure that requisite expertise and forward-and-backward linkages are created.
Making systems watertight would deter criminals from hoodwinking the law.
Connecting the dots: