Delhi High Court for trial run of software to trace missing children

The high court's direction came after the Centre expressed its inability to immediately put into motion such a software.

Published: 02nd February 2018 07:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2018 07:47 PM   |  A+A-

Delhi High Court. | File Photo


NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has asked the police to run on a trial basis for two weeks a facial recognition software (FRS), developed by a private entity, which can help trace and rescue missing children.

A bench of justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta said the test run of the FRS by the Delhi Police should start from February 20 and not later.

The software is expected to help trace and rescue the missing children.

The high court's direction came after the Centre expressed its inability to immediately put into motion such a software.

The government had said that the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) was developing an FRS in West Bengal, but did not give a timeline as to when it would be completed and put into operation.

To this, the bench had said, "Waiting for the perfect software to be developed with an open-ended time line does not serve the purpose of addressing the issue of missing children on an urgent basis.

"Given the possibility of the tender process taking a considerable amount of time, the MWCD will inform the court on affidavit the concrete time line within which it proposes to procure and test an FRS to track missing children."

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) had also informed the court that a proposal of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) to give the software free of cost had some technical drawbacks.

To this the bench said, "Even if the software does not perfectly match the requirement of the MWCD, an FRS which substantially serves the purpose must be procured and made operational at the earliest."

Senior counsel H S Phoolka and advocate Prabhsahay Kaur, appearing for the NGO, submitted in the court that Vision Box, the software developer, has offered the FRS free of cost for one year, provided it is used only for tracing missing children.

The bench, thereafter, in its order said, "BBA shall ensure the provision of the FRS to the Delhi Police forthwith for the above purpose. The trial runs of the FRS by the Delhi police should commence not later than February 20."

The bench was hearing a plea regarding missing children in which it has been examining ways and means to address the issue of tracing them and restoring them to their families.


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