The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in its draft guidelines, has proposed that all convicts — of cognisable and non-cognisable sexual crimes, from stalking to rape — should be included in a sex offenders' register (SOR).
The guidelines, which were shared with the Women and Child Development and Law Ministry for comments, say the convicts will also have to furnish information such as name and aliases, address, telephone no, passport no, employment and school/college details, photograph, fingerprints, DNA sample, PAN card no, Aadhaar card no and Voter ID No.
"A detailed concept note (on the national sex offenders list) has been prepared and shared with concerned members for their comments. A module for it is being finalised/developed under the Central Citizen Portal in CCTNS project under discussion with the stakeholders including National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)," the MHA had told the Supreme Court earlier this month.
"The sex offenders' registry in the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS) is proposed to be a consolidated national registry of charge-sheeted offenders in cases pertaining to section/acts specific to crime against women, for example Section 375 (rape), 376A (intercourse by a man with his wife during separation) and 376B (sexual favours taken by a superior officer from a junior)," the ministry was quoted as saying by TOI.
The time frame during which the convict would be part of the registry would depend on the length of their prison sentence.
According to the draft, a sentence of six months or less would mean the convict would be part of the registry for four years, subjecting them to verification by the police once a year.
A sentence of six months to less than three years would lead to eight years of registration and twice-a-year police verification. Prison sentences of more than three years but less than seven years would mean a 12-year registration and thrice-a-year police verification. Sentences of more than seven years would require a 20-year registration and quarterly police verification.
Juveniles will be exempted from the list.
Failure to adhere to the guidelines would lead to punishment under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, which can lead to imprisonment of up to six months or fine, or both, reported TOI.
A separate mention would not be needed in the court order for those booked under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. However, a pardoned person would be removed from the list.
The stringent guidelines also mandate that convicts would have to register at the jurisdiction police station covering their home and place of study/work.
The registry is set to be public, and will be uploaded on the national citizens' portal under the CCTNS scheme. The CCTNS was an e-Governance scheme conceived in 2008 after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The MHA is also looking at other steps to battle the rise in crimes against women, such as the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) and special investigation units just for offences against women.