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Delhi HC directs Delhi Police to register FIR for missing person cases via WhatsApp, email

The Delhi HC has directed the Delhi Police to consider allowing online resgistration – via SMS, emails, and WhatsApp – of FIRs relating to missing persons to speed up the process, reports Bar & Bench. The direction came out of a suo moto writ petition concerning kidnapping of a person in August 2018, an FIR for which was filed only six months later in December 2018. This delay occurred despite of the wife of the missing person sending representations to officials in the Delhi Police. However, the police reportedly made no effort to trace the missing person, made no arrests, and only carried out a cursory investigation. The court noted that the police became proactive only when the matter was taken up by the court.

In the latest hearing, the court said the Delhi Police should consider registration of FIRs via online methods. “This, in the opinion of the Court, would ensure that the valuable time is not lost and investigation is carried out in an expeditious manner. In the event, the report is false or the person is found, the FIR can always be cancelled.” In an event that the missing person is found, the FIR can be cancelled.

Facebook shares private chat details with Delhi police for some cases

The Delhi Police had launched a women safety helpline – ‘Himmat’ – in 2015 where women could send photographs of public transport vehicles they were on so their safety could be ensured, and emergency response could be speedier. Its worth noting that earlier this year, Facebook agreed to provide details of private chats to Delhi police in cases relating to crimes against women and children. The police had said that Facebook takes too much time to respond to their legal information requests.

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