New Delhi, July 18: The Delhi High Court has asked the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) whether it collects only statistical data regarding crimes and not specific details of the offences.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru posed the query to the NCRB after the lawyer representing it told the court that only statistical data is collected by the bureau.
Observing that the statement by advocate T P Singh, who represented the NCRB, "does not appear to be correct", the court directed that an affidavit be filed indicating the kind of data that the organisation collects.
"If you (NCRB) are only crunching numbers, then only a clerk is required and not an entire bureau," the court said.
It also said the affidavit will contain all parameters of the data collected by the NCRB and listed the matter for hearing on January 8 next year.
The order came on a plea by an RTI activist Prakash Patel challenging an April 2018 decision of the Central Information Commission which had denied his plea for direction to NCRB to give details of all the FIRs lodged in Gujarat and all over India against four individuals residing in that state.
The NCRB had told Patel to approach the Director General of Police of all the states and Union territories in whose custody lies the data regarding the FIRs.
The CIC had upheld the decision of the NCRB, saying that the ownership of the data relating to crime and criminals lies with the respective state governments and the NCRB only acts as a repository of bulk information on crime statistics.
It had, in its April 2, 2018 order, also noted that the Crime Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), under which details of an FIR and its status would also be collected, was not operational yet.