GUWAHATI: The Assam government has informed the Gauhati High Court that the present 'e-prison' application is not yet structured to either re-verify or match the fingerprints taken of persons arrested by the police in real time.
The state government had submitted an affidavit with this information in response to a direction from the HC regarding compliance of the observation that biometrics collected should be assimilated in the 'e-prisons' software.
Further, in compliance of the HC order dated August 30, 2023, the state government also informed that out of 31 prisons in Assam, 30 prisons are equipped with biometric devices for capturing of prisoner's biometrics. However, the present 'e-prison' application is not yet structured to either re-verify or match the fingerprints taken of persons arrested by the police, which are captured through the central NAFIS, i.e., National Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
In addition to this, it was stated in the affidavit that the flow of data from Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) to the 'e-prisons' app does not occur timely, that it appears after 24-48 hours. In explanation, the HC was informed that records of new entrants to jails are entered in 'e-prisons' app on the next day and that maintaining a practice of verification of fingerprint does not arise unless the data of CCTNS appear in real time.
It was further stated that both Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System and NAFIS are Central Projects, which are being implemented by National Crime Records Bureau, New Delhi. The state government was awaiting a response from their end regarding the status of scope and plans for assimilation of NAFIS and e-prisons biometrics in the State of Assam, the HC was informed.
While the Assam government responded to the HC order with the submission of the affidavit stating the above facts, the states of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, through their respective Additional Advocate Generals prayed for four weeks time to file affidavit in terms of the order dated August 30, 2023.
The bench of Chief Justice (Acting) Lanusungkum Jamir and Justice Malasri Nandi allowed the prayer and asked the matter to be listed again on January 4, 2024.