Human rights activist feel e-tagging would affect the privacy

Bengaluru cops want to e-tag habitual offenders human rights activists say noImage: Handcuffs/Pixabay
news Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 10:07

Human Rights activists are up in arms against the police after a proposal for electronic tagging of habitual offenders was mounted recently. Although the police accept that there would be privacy issues for the criminal, officials say that e-tag was considered to check on frequent instance of crimes such as chain snatching. Human rights activist feel e-tagging is against the law. 

The Times of India quoted Danish Sait of Alternative Law Forum saying, “This is a form of preventive detention and there is a reason why preventive detention is done only in exceptional cases. A court ruling in Uttar Pradesh said it was unconstitutional for a parole officer to go to the house of a convict on parole to monitor his movements or activities. When that is the precedent, how can something like electronic tagging work?”

The Indian Constitution doesn't consider criminality as something that is inherent in a person. “Even when it comes to a person convicted of a certain crime, once he serves his penalty, his record begins anew,” Sait added.

Unsure about the idea's functionality, S T Ramesh, former director general of police, told the newspaper that there will be legal constraints.  He also pointed at the human rights issues which will have to be looked into. 

He said, "We should consider India's population and if a concept like this is feasible. Do we have the technology to monitor those involved in such crimes? What about manpower requirement?”

The Times of India reported that on Monday, Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) M Chandrashekar speaking on the sidelines of a news conference to announce the arrest of three persons involved in attention diversion and chain-snatching in the past five years, said that e-tagging offenders can be a viable solution.

The Central Crime Branch has arrested two members, belonging to a five-member Irani gang, who were involved in over 41 cases of chain-snatching in the last six months.