Municipal authorities in India’s capital, New Delhi, have announced the use of blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) in criminal investigations in what experts call a pioneering move.
The New Delhi government has introduced blockchain to the Forensic Research Laboratory (FSL) so that evidence obtained from crime scenes is stored using a distributed ledger to prevent interference. Officials cite DLT’s inherent transparency as a key reason for moving operations to the technology. They noted that the advantage of immutability would foster public trust in New Delhi’s law enforcement agencies.
The use of DLT in criminal investigations in New Delhi is carried out in four stages, from sample collection to dispatch. Officials say each stage of the process is fragmented and tamper-proof to prevent violations of official protocols.
“To make changes at any stage, existing records cannot be changed, a new block must be created and a new QR code will be generated. An immediate warning will be sent to all persons with
“Blockchain timestamps and encrypted data ensure that each block is added to the chain sequentially,” said another FSL official.
New Delhi’s chief secretary, Naresh Kumar, welcomed the move, saying it would improve the productivity of criminal investigators in the city while increasing the objectivity of cases. FSL investigators receive approximately 1,500 criminal samples each month. This is the number investigators have had to grapple with using conventional methods.
The DLT offer will be extended to other states interested in making the leap, but officials say the Crime and Crime Tracking Networks and Systems (CCTNS) will need to be upgraded. In the coming months, there is speculation that the technology could be used to store certificate data for plantation records.
India Adopts DLT
India has expressed a strong desire to become a world leader in DLT adoption in the coming years. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also expressed the same sentiment when he revealed that the country expected his DLT adoption rate to be 46%.
NITI Aayog, the country’s leading public policy think tank, recently collaborated with 5ire and Network Capital to establish a DLT module for interested citizens. The partnership aims to “deepen the talent pool” of his DLT-based firms in India, but despite the move, service providers remain frustrated by harsh tax pressures.
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