National sex offenders' database has 5 lakh names now

The National Registry of Sex Offenders, which was rolled out in September last year, has names of over five lakh sex offenders at present.

Maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the registry has exhaustive details about those arrested and charge sheeted as well as those convicted for sexual offence.

One of the features of the registry is the facial recognition module that ensures the proper linking of related records. There would be a validation mechanism for enabling merging of records of the same offender together for proper oversight and avoiding system errors.

At present, officials said, they have uploaded details of over five lakh sex offenders. Details such as photos and IDs of the offenders would be accessible only to law enforcement agencies and will help them in tracking and investigating cases of sexual offences.

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago are among the countries which maintain such a registry of sexual offenders. Only in the United States, the registry is available to the public.

According to a last year's official note by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the sexual offenders are classified into three types -- those posing low danger to community, moderate danger and serious danger.

Under the classification, the Tier-1 category of sexual offenders have been described as those posing low danger to the community and is not likely to engage in criminal sexual conduct. In this category, those who have been convicted under sections 376 (technical rape and elopement etc), Section 354 (outraging the modesty of women through assault or criminal force) and Section 377 (unnatural sex) are included.

While a first-time offender would see his name in the database for 15 year from the date of registration of offence and for 25 years for repeat offenders.

The Tier-II will have those posing a moderate danger to the community and may continue to engage in criminal sexual conduct. This would contain cases of rape by known persons, family and incest among others. A first-timer in this category will have his name for 25 years in the database but a repeat offender will find his name for live.

The Tier-3 indicates that the person poses a serious danger to the community and will continue to engage in criminal sexual conduct. This category includes habitual offenders, violent criminals and cases related to gang rape, custodial rape, rape and murder and brutalization with rape. "The data for the offenders lying in this category will be retained for life, and would be liable for removal only after death of the offender," it said. (ENDS)

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