In a first-of-its-kind, India will release the National Registry of Sexual Offenders today. The registry will have key details like names, photographs, residential address, fingerprints, DNA samples, and PAN and Aadhaar numbers, of convicted sexual offenders, according to Indian Express report. The database, which will be maintained by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), will also contain over 4.5 lakh cases. The cases will have profiles of first-time and repeat offenders. The details will be collected from jails across the country.
“The database will be maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under the Ministry of Home Affairs and made available to law enforcement agencies for various purposes, including investigation and employee verification,” a senior government official said. The criminal history will determine the categorisation of the offenders. This will be done to ascertain whether “they pose a serious danger to the community”.
Before India, UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago have maintained the data record. However, in the US, documents can be accessed by public. But in India, the details will be available only to law enforcement agencies.
The decision to set up the database was taken in April this year following nationwide outrage over cases of sexual assault on minors. The NCRB data shows that there has been a three per cent increase in crimes against women. There has been a 12 per cent rise in rapes in 2016, as compared to 2015. As many as 38,947 rape cases were registered in 2016. In 2015, 34,651 rape cases were registered in 2015. Cases of crimes against women rose from 3,29,243 in 2015 to 3,38,954 in 2016, according to NCRB.