criminal records

In this article, Karan Singh of JGLS discusses how can I check if someone has previous criminal records.

Introduction

India is experiencing a drastic rise in crimes. Even, the law enforcement is weakened day by day. India should have some way to get a person’s criminal record checked. Government should make a way by which people can have access of the criminal records of everyone. As this can be an important act and can avoid many crimes in India. As we all know many crimes happen because people are unaware who is a criminal and who is not.

In India, Kerala was on top of every state with highest crime rate in 2015. Reasons for crime can be anything from rape, dowry, domestic violence, etc.

As per Dr Sudheer Khandelwal, former head of the department of psychiatry at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) people who take such drastic steps when they are angry, have problems with impulse control and an extremely low threshold for frustrations. They cannot restrain themselves, have no guilt in the heat of the moment, and forget about any consequences that their actions may attract.[1]

This is the reason people should get criminal record checked before meeting strangers or getting married to a stranger. This will help avoid a crime and ensures one’s safety.

India and US are federal political system comprised of states. In both countries, the states have primary authority over creation, disclosure, use and collateral consequences of criminal records, albeit within a basic national framework. Courts and police department both create and maintain criminal records required to carry out investigatory function. However, in India courts records are not available to the public and law enforcement agencies are generally prohibited from disclosing individual criminal history information for noncriminal justice purposes.

In India, police records are created in dozens of local languages, making record sharing difficult, even among police departments. The challenge is also that many Indians share the same name. Government is taking steps to give a particular number to every individual i.e aadhar card.

Courts provide the other important source of criminal records. State laws govern access to and disclosure of court records. While trial court judgments are public, court files are not. Even the defendant needs the court’s permission to see the file, and special permission to copy it. A third party would have to petition the chief judge. Criminal judgments are increasingly available to the public via e-court system databases and private databases. The e-courts website is in English, while the judgment is uploaded in the local language used by the trial court’s. High court and Supreme Court case judgments are sold to and reported by private publishers.

It is not common for employers to ask job applicants to disclose criminal convictions, Companies rarely conduct background check on employees in India. Firms that conduct criminal background checking services are rarely used and only for sensitive or high-level positions or to investigate prospective business partners.[2]

What Steps government should take

  1. Government should make a website on which people can have access to check for criminal records of someone.
  2. Or the government can make centres which helps to get the criminal records of someone. They should record it and also ask the reason for taking the criminal record of someone.
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Reasons for getting a criminal record of someone

  1. If you are getting married and the partner is a stranger, he/she might have a criminal record which he/she is not telling. This can be a fraud case and in India cases like this is rising. This marriage is called fraudulent marriage. And this can be avoided if the person who is getting married get the partner criminal record checked.
  2. For a case: If there is a case where the person needs the criminal record of the opponent to prove him guilty. This is for person who are repeated offender.So, to prove him guilty in court criminal records can be given as evidence.
  3. Jobs: These days people get the criminal records checked for the employee or for a person who applied for the job. This is just to ensure that he is save for the office and nothing fraudulent is there. Employee in a big company or a driver, companies get the employees checked for their own safety.
  4. Renting out: In India, people mostly rent their place out to earn some income. But before renting out the place, you should get the criminal record checked. As it is very important for future and also to have a safe environment. As the place is in your name, and if anything wrong happens then you can land in problem.

How to check for someone’s criminal record

There is no sure shot way or any website which can reveal the criminal record of a person in India. No website or application can tell the criminal history.

  1. One way to check for criminal record of someone is by asking around, asking the neighbours, you can even ask the company if he/she is working somewhere. This is the best way to know about someone and if he/she is having a criminal record or not. Neighbours might know if the cops visit his/her house ever. This can give you a hint of it but this will not give you an accurate answer to your question.
  2. You can also, approach a lawyer in your area, preferably who works seriously and values his client. Who will help you to see if the person whom you want to get a criminal record checked has no criminal antecedents or involved in criminal or any cases in court.
  3. High court and different district court websites are available online which can help in finding the existing cases of the person. You can search by his/her name or by his company name on the website.
  4. You can also go to police station, and if the police officer is willing to help then you can get the criminal records from police station as well.
  5. Private Investigation Companies: Private investigation companies are there to investigate or get the criminal records of a person. They can even get the phone records, email records, and other records which can be useful in the investigation. But these companies charges fees for their work. Discover Detective And Security Agency Private Limited is the detective agency in Delhi which can help you find the criminal record. Attached is the number and address for the agency. Sanjeev Kaushik (CEO), No. B-31, 2nd Floor, Pocket 11 Jasola Vihar, Delhi – 110025, India.
  6. Detectives: Detective is a private person who investigates or searches for records secretly. Without telling anyone detectives can get the criminal records or any other records.
  7. Online search: There are websites from which you can easily search for records in India but you have pay certain amount of fees for that. Link is attached for the website http://www.criminal-records-search.com/order_net/form/india.asp.  On this website, you can easily search for criminal record, civil record, education degree verification, employment verification, background check etc.

Conclusion

In India, we can not have a criminal record in hand, either you have to investigate or hire agency or detectives. It is very difficult to get the criminal record of someone in India. Unlike US, criminal records are not shared in public. People have to find ways or follow the ways that is given above. These steps will help a person to get someone’s criminal record.

 

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References:

[1]http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/angry-delhi-what-makes-people-kill-out-of-rage-experts-say-look-for-these-signs/story-pfAnjQHzcsfOFyGRxwVIhJ.html

[2]http://ccresourcecenter.org/2015/08/10/access-to-individual-criminal-history-information-in-india/

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