The ministry of home affairs has launched India’s first national database on sex offenders yesterday. The National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO) has 4.4 lakh names in its nascent stage. According to reports, the registry has details like names, photographs, address and fingerprint details of the registered offenders. according to reports, India became the 9th country in the world to have such a database.
Launched a National Database on Sexual Offenders for use by Law Enforcement agencies and Cybercrime Reporting Portal https://t.co/z5UMRHqPf3 to facilitate online and anonymous reporting of Child Pornography and cases related to women safety. #womensafetyMHApriority pic.twitter.com/r9AXwUP9Zo
— राजनाथ सिंह (@rajnathsingh) September 20, 2018
The database reportedly includes the names of offenders from 2005 onwards. A statement by the home ministry states that the database will not compromise an individual’s right to privacy. According to reports, the database will only be accessible to law enforcement agencies for investigations and monitoring. The database is to include persons charged with rape, gang rape, eve teasing and under the POCSO Act. The MHA also launched a national portal for cybercrimes, cybercrimes.gov.in for anonymous and instant reporting of issues related to child pornography and women’s safety.
Minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi expressed concerns over cases of sexual exploitation in shelter homes and increasing cases of NRI grooms abandoning brides. Speaking at the event where the registry was launched by MHA Rajnath Singh, Gandhi stated that the DGPs are being instructed to keep close watch over shelter homes. She also pulled up representatives of the states that are yet to respond to a query by the ministry of WCD on the number of rape-kits procured by them. Rape-kits are specially designed medical kits to immediately determine if a sexual assault has taken place. PS Shrivastava, the joint secretary for MHA reportedly stated that 79 lakh rape-kits are in the process of procurement and distribution across the country.
It is notable here that the central government had in April promulgated an ordinance to amend the POCSO Act with provisions of the death penalty for rapists of children below 12-years of age.