In a unique initiative, the Tamil Nadu state police have launched a new facility where the summon details of a case can be sent to witnesses via SMS, for them to appear in court.
The facility was launched on Thursday by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and aims at faster completion of trials.
A senior police officer told NIE that this is the first such initiative in the country and added that the message will be sent in the regional language to make it more comfortable for the witness.
The SMS will contain details, including the name of the police station, name of the court where the witness has to appear, the date and time, besides case details and contact numbers of the police station to get further assistance, the report states.
Prior to this, the summons had to be physically delivered to the witness by the police personnel and in instances where the witness is out of station or had gone out, it resulted in a delay. But with the new facility, this kind of situation can be avoided.
The officer aded that as soon as the case was reported, all details of the witness, including the phone number, would be saved in the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System.
“When the summon copy comes, the particular police station will have a login ID and a password that can be used to send the SMS. The same details are used to upload the FIR in the website,” said the officer.
The ToI had reported in December last year that the state crime record bureau (SCRB) has developed the initiative in association with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) officials, and would be implemented soon.
A circular dated November 23 had stated, "the facility for sending SMS to summon witnesses on Crime And Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) platform is ready for launch. The launch will soon be announced after confirmation from the chief minister.”