WHAT IS ICJS?
The Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) by the eCommittee of the Supreme Court of India is a national portal which provides integration of data from various databases to make an effective justice delivery system. It seeks to enable seamless transfer of data and information among the different pillars of the criminal justice system through live electronic exchange of data. The ICJS system is made available through a dedicated and secure cloud-based infrastructure with high-speed connectivity. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will be responsible for the implementation of the project in association with National Informatics Center (NIC). The project is implemented in collaboration with the States and Union Territories for implementation and integration of the interoperability among different pillars from the grassroot level to the national level. Major Components of ICJS are:
- Interoperability of data across all Pillars of criminal Justice System
- National Crime & Criminal Data Search across all Pillars
- MIS Dashboard and Reporting of FIR/Case/ Case pendency/ Prisons/ Prisoner status based information for investigation, search, case history, judgments provided, and other details pertaining to criminal justice required from time to time.
- Data Analytics for Forecasting/ Predictive Trends in Crimes reported region-wise, category-wise, and basis other parameters for effective management & control of crimes in the future.
- Seamless data sharing across all pillars through a common Network connectivity.
ICJS is only accessible to authorised persons from the government to protect the critical information in the system. It provides the person working in the many pillars of the criminal system to have easier access across the various databases for smooth functioning of the criminal system in India
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CECA) advisory notice
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CECA), on approval of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) project, advised the Ministry of Home Affairs on key improvements including the implementation of ICJS by integrating Police (CCTNS) with e-prisons, e-prosecution, e-forensics and e-courts, including the Hardware requirement for the purpose. It provided for the digitalisation of the existing documentation and creating a system for universally accessible information through an integrated criminal system.
Press Information Bureau
According to the Press Information Bureau, “The Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS), conceptualised by the e-Committee, Supreme Court of India and implemented as a project under the Ministry of Home Affairs, seeks to enable seamless transfer of data and information among different pillars of the criminal justice system, like courts, police, jails and forensic science laboratories, from one platform.”
E-committee, Supreme Court of India
The e-committee of the Supreme Court of India envisions the ICJS platform as an effective tool for the case and court management, as all the relevant information of a case will be available in real-time for use by the courts. Compliance of judicial orders and summons can also be achieved expeditiously, ensuring effective time management. The ICJS is going to be a milestone to enhance the productivity of the criminal justice system both qualitatively and quantitatively.
“ Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) aims to integrate CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System) project with e-Courts and e-Prisons database in the first instance and with other pillars of judiciary like forensic labs, prosecution and juvenile homes etc. In order to build an effective criminal justice system across the country, it is essential that data across all pillars of criminal justice is interoperable and is accessible across all the pillars.”
COMPONENTS OF ICJS
STRUCTURE OF ICJS
(i) Police (Crime & Criminal Tracking and Network Systems)
Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) is a plan scheme conceived in the light of experience of a non-plan scheme namely - Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA). The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) is a pivotal plan scheme designed to enhance policing efficiency through the adoption of e-Governance principles. ICJS seeks to integrate CCTNS with e-Courts and e-Prisons databases, alongside other components of the criminal justice system in a phased manner - Forensics, Prosecution, Juvenile homes and a nationwide Fingerprint database of criminals in a phased manner. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) play a key role in implementing this “integrated service delivery” approach.
They are involved in planning, implementing, monitoring and reviewing integrated systems and this is developed in collaboration with the police leadership within states. MHA and NCRB will primarily provide the Core Application Software (CAS) to be configured, customised, enhanced, and deployed in states while the states will drive the implementation at the state level and will continue to own the system after deployment.
(ii) E - Forensic
E-Forensics is an online case registration and tracking system formulated under the project ICJS (Interoperable Criminal Justice System) initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India.The portal allows exchange of forensic examination results between various pillars of the criminal justice system such as the investigating agencies, Supreme Court, all High Courts and subordinate courts. Initiated under the ICJS project, this portal automates the workflow of forensic laboratories from registration to report dispatch. It ensures the online monitoring of cases referred for forensic investigation, maintaining the chain of custody of forensic evidence. The e-Forensics portal is built on the principle of 'one data, one entry,' ensuring seamless data availability across different segments of the system. Through the e-Forensics portal, 109 forensic labs are linked to each other and to the criminal justice system. The e-Forensics application is broadly divided into the following components –
a) Admin – create, edit, and delete users
d) Section Transfer
f) Dispatch Entry
g) Reports (MIS Dashboard)
The e-Courts project aims to computerise district and subordinate courts throughout India. This initiative has successfully ICT-enabled thousands of courts across the country, resulting in the National Judicial Data Grid. This grid serves as a dynamic repository hosting millions of case records, providing stakeholders with online case information services through various mediums.
Data Exchange in ICJS:
Under ICJS, courts can access live data from police departments, facilitating the consumption of FIRs, charge-sheets, remand details, bail information, and property releases. In turn, courts send remand, bail, and property release details to the police, ensuring a fluid exchange of critical case-related information. Moreover, ICJS enables courts to consume charge sheet data electronically, fostering efficient information dissemination.
The e-Prosecution website provides integrated access to the prosecution system and its information such as the State-wise organisation of prosecution system, contact details of officials,etc., of all the states to the general public. It also integrates the system and provides for e-communication between the police department and the prosecution directorate under the Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) that enables transfer of data among courts, police, jails and forensic science laboratories.
Under this system, the officials ensure that witnesses are informed through SMS about their day of appearance in court, reach out to the concerned government advocates and help in prompt disposal of cases, with the entire database of the case structured to help the prosecution.
(v) E- Prisons
The e-Prisons application suite integrates all the activities related to prison and prisoner management in the jail. It provides vital information about the inmates lodged in the prisons in a real-time environment to the courts, prison officials and other entities involved in the Criminal Justice System. It facilitates online visit requests and grievance redressal.
This application suite consists of three main components:
- e-Prisons MIS: Management Information System used at the prisons for their day to day activities.
- NPIP: National Prisons Information Portal is a citizen-centric portal showing statistical data of various jails in the country.
- Kara Bazaar: Portal for showcasing and selling the products manufactured in different jails of the country by inmates.
The integration of ICJS across the various pillars varies regionally. The table below is accessible in the PRAGATI Dashboard. It provides data on the integration of pillars with ICJS and measures the integration on aggregate scores to get a brief idea on the implementation.
IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF CCTNS - ICJS ACROSS INDIAN STATES
The geographical scope of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems is to be implemented in 36 States and Union Territories. Thus, CCTNS is implemented to connect the district police states to state level and thereby to the central nodal agency, National Crime Records Bureau. Currently, the CCTNS is implemented in most states completely and very few states have less or no implementation of the same.
The State Government Of Haryana have all their districts share data with Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS). All concerned Police units are directed to seek legal opinion in all cases through this module only. Charge sheets are also getting vetted online through the e-prosecution module. Besides efficient service delivery through the online portal, one of the key objectives of the CCTNS Haryana project is to make police functioning citizen-friendly and more transparent and improve the delivery of citizen-centric services through effective usage of ICT.
Telangana government has real-time integration of ICJS and CCTNS to electronically share data/ information of FIR, charge sheets and acknowledgments. In the next phase of the CCTNS project, prosecution, e-prisons, juvenile justice, summons and warrants, trial details will be integrated.
CAS application in HP is functional in the mode of both offline as well as online mode due to the geographical difficulties. It helps the State to provide the accurate and updated monthly information to NCRB for Pragati Dashboard.The first step of integrating Police CCTNS data with CIS has been tested successfully and is pending for inauguration.
CCTNS has been implemented at all levels of police stations in the state, even including Outposts and Chowkis. eGujCop is a cloud based CCTNS application in the state which is integrated with ICJS and other national portals.The project from Home Department covers major HODs like Police Station, CID, FSL, etc. operating in production environment with key features like FIR, Investigation, Chargesheet, HRMS, Inventory, CM Dashboard, Passport etc.
Under the CCTNS project Goa, the Goa Police Department has customised the GCOPS Application as per the requirement of MHA/NCRB.Goa Police is presently considering migrating from GCOPS application to CAS, which will enable smooth integration with ICJS.
CCTNS in the state of Maharashtra currently provides integration of ICJS in regards to nation-wide searches which include person searches, person of interest search, vehicle search and MOB search is extensively used at police stations and higher offices.CCTNS is further in process of integration with AMBIS, court, prosecution and prison to have end to end digital case tracking.
IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF E-COURTS and ICJS ACROSS INDIAN STATES
Live electronic exchange of data between courts and police through ICJS has been implemented in 23 High Courts. Metadata of FIR and charge sheet details are electronically received in courts through the CIS software system.
States which have implemented integration of ICJS with e-courts at the level of district courts.
Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) has been made operational in all the District Courts of State of Jharkhand.
Integration of ICJS (InterOperable Criminal Justice System) (FIR details) has been completed at the District Courts.
ICJS (Integrated Criminal Justice System) has been implemented in all Districts of the state.The Court System was able to integrate FIR and Charge Sheet data in CIS application of all 894 police Stations through the CCTNS application of the Police Department. Further, all the 59 prisons and 3 FSLs have also been integrated with ICJS.
Case Management System (CMS), an in-house Case Management Software was developed for digitising court system.Video Conferencing facility connecting Courts and Jails have been installed in 488 locations (402 Courts & 86 Studios in 52 Jails) throughout the State for the remand extension of prisoners. Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) that enables live electronic exchange of data between Courts and Police in collaboration of e-Court, CCTNS, e-Prisons,e-Prosecution, e-Forensic etc. has been installed and operationalized in all the criminal courts in the State of Kerala
Replication of CIS data of High Court at Calcutta, as well as District Courts in the NIC Cloud is under process. Implementation of Virtual Court is under process. ICJS has been implemented in the District & Sub-divisional Court Complexes covered under the eCourts Project. Meta-data of charge-sheets and FIRs are getting fetched in the Case Information System software (CIS) from the Police Stations in the State of West Bengal.
States in which the implementation of ICJS is under progress/is implemented partially upto the level of district courts
In the Prakasam District of State of Andhra Pradesh, the ICJS project was successfully implemented as a pilot project and now the High Court is taking steps to implement the ICJS project in the entire State of Andhra Pradesh.
JAMMU & KASHMIR AND LADAKH
The Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) was implemented in the jurisdiction of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh. ICJS was implemented in 22 district court complexes across UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
The Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) has already been implemented in all the Magisterial Courts of Delhi District Courts to facilitate the courts, prisons and police/ investigating authorities to share information through a single platform with each other. Pre-Trial Module available in CIS, has been implemented in all Magisterial Courts of Delhi District Courts by consuming the MetaData from ICJS server with respect to FIR and charge-sheets uploaded through CCTNS server by Delhi Police. However, there is a lack of data on the implementation of the integration in the other district courts.
PUNJAB AND HARYANA
ICJS was tested successfully in 2 pilot sites of Subordinate Courts of Punjab, Moga and Kapurthala.
The Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) has been introduced but there still lacks substantial implementation of ICJS in the district courts.
ICJS (Interoperable Criminal Justice System) is in the process of implementation in District Court Shillong. The High court has initiated the implementation of e-prosecution in ICJS and has conducted training workshops to create awareness and usage among all the judicial officers .
The ICJS Database is not accessible to the general public due to the sensitive information contained in the portal across different pillars of the criminal system; they are restricted mostly to persons who are working in these institutions. The structure and working of the database is accessible only through the manuals provided by the NCRB, MHA and other respective departments.
RESEARCH THAT ENGAGES WITH ICJS
Paper II: “ Transition and Implementation” on the whitepaper series on Next Generation platform by DAKSH
The paper suggests effective strategy for implementation of the system and recommends certain features to the ICJS for advancing the applicability and effectiveness of the system to fill the current lacunae and meet the growing demands.
“Vision to Reality of Faster Dispensation of Justice through Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System-A Case Study”
It is an article which analyses the need for ICJS in India. It tracks the implementation of ICJS through the case study of Himachal Pradesh.The ICJS model of implementation covers the Courts,Police, Prisons and Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).The ICJS implementation in Himachal Pradesh is an eye opener in the sense that the initiative has actually been implemented by integrating data of all domains at a central location.In its present shape, the ICJS is restricted to sharing of information in electronic form. But even this, it has helped to cut down the number of long languishing under-trials in prisons because of iCJS data mining. Therefore, the article analyses the need for implementing ICJS with recommendations ascertained from the Himachal Pradesh case study on a nation-level to reap benefits of the system.
National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) has been conceptualised on the principles of cloud computing model for establishing a central repository of criminal fingerprint data.NAFIS and CCTNS/ICJS are being integrated for transferring the demographic data associated with fingerprint in CCTNS into NAFIS and to share National Fingerprint Number (NFN) to CCTNS for establishing unique identity of the criminal in CCTNS
Antecedent Verification from CCTNS/ICJS
MHA envisaged leveraging the CAS Center data to provide antecedent verification facility to corporates and private agencies on payment basis.It is envisioned that the Antecedent verification based on NDC/NDSO/ICJS data will be free of cost for Govt departments and there will be a prescribed fee for PSUs and corporates.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
The application has also been integrated with Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) and data sharing between ICJS database and CBI-CAS database is being done. However, the functionality is still under testing phase, so CBI data is being shared with a test server of ICJS. CBI will soon be integrated as one of the pillars of ICJS.
- Parliament of India, Rajya Sabha, "TWO HUNDRED THIRTY SEVENTH REPORT ON POLICE - TRAINING, MODERNISATION AND REFORMS" Pg No. 32, para 3.19.4. Available at:http://22.214.171.124/rsnew/Committee_site/Committee_File/ReportFile/15/161/237_2022_2_17.pdf
- Parliament of India, Rajya Sabha, "TWO HUNDRED THIRTY SEVENTH REPORT ON POLICE - TRAINING, MODERNISATION AND REFORMS" Pg No. 32, para 3.19.5. Available at:http://126.96.36.199/rsnew/Committee_site/Committee_File/ReportFile/15/161/237_2022_2_17.pdf
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2020-2021”, Pg. 273. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- e-Committee Newsletter January 2023, Supreme Court of India. Available at: https://ecommitteesci.gov.in/publication/e-committee-newsletter-january-2023/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2021-2022”, Pg. 229. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2020-2021”, Pg. 229. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2021-2022”, Pg. 319. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2021-2022”, Pg. 346. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2021-2022”, Pg. 395. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2021-2022”, Pg. 250. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2021-2022”, Pg. 229. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2020-2021”, Pg. 211. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2020-2021”, Pg. 281. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2021-2022”, Pg. 267-271. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Supreme Court of India, “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2021-2022”, Pg. 375. Available at: https://sci.gov.in/
- Daksh, Paper II: Transition and Implementation, Whitte paper on next generation justice platform, September 2019. available at: https://www.dakshindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Paper-2_Transition-and-Implementation.pdf
- Dr. Saurabh Gupta et al, Vision to Reality of Faster Dispensation of Justice through Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System-A Case Study. available at: https://himachal.nic.in/assets/pdf/awards/PaperICJSHP_eGovConf_10Dec2013.pdf