New Delhi: The Delhi Police Saturday admitted to having “inadvertently” used a Chinese app which the central government had banned last year amid the rising border tensions between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
In a tweet posted in response to the Twitter handle TheLegalSquad that highlighted the use of CamScanner by Delhi Police, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Central Delhi, said: “It was inadvertently done. We are rectifying it. Thanks for sharing.”
CamScanner is a popular mobile application used to scan documents, and was among the first tranche of Chinese apps to be banned by India in June 2020 over concerns of national security.
Law student Aniket Gaurav, who operates TheLegalSquad handle, told ThePrint that the Delhi Police had uploaded their response to various applications filed under the Right to Information Act (RTI) on a central government online portal after scanning them through CamScanner.
Gaurav brought this to the notice of the agency through a tweet, prompting the DCP to respond with a promise of rectifying the situation.
June 29, 2020, Govt. Banned 'Cam Scanner' a Chinese App as it was prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.@DelhiPolice is using 'Cam scanner' as of Jan 07, 2021, to scan the docs for uploading on online RTI portal pic.twitter.com/OWKca9enRI
— TheLegalSquad (@thelegalsquad) January 9, 2021
A government statement had said the banned apps engaged in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order”.
“It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country. The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India,” read the statement.
RTI applications shine spotlight on CamScanner
Gaurav has filed several RTI applications with the Delhi Police, seeking information on various issues related to the force’s functioning.
While most of his applications were filed online, a hard copy of these were sent to Delhi Police through speed post. All his queries received an online response, with Delhi Police uploading scanned copies of necessary documents.
“I noticed that a few units of Delhi Police have used the banned application to scan the RTI reply documents,” Gaurav told ThePrint.
All these responses were signed by senior police officers posted with various Delhi Police departments.