Contact Us - 9792276999 | 9838932888
Timing : 12:00 Noon to 20:00 PM (Mon to Fri)
Email - ssgcpl@gmail.com
|
|

Post at: May 31 2022

Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022

Why in news?

  • On 18 April 2022, the President has given assent to the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022. Now it has become an Act of Parliament.

Background

  • The act replaces the Identification of Prisoners Act,1920.This amendment was proposed in the 1980s by the Law Commission of India (in its 87th Report) and SC judgement of the State of U.P. vs Ram Babu Misra (1980).

Key Highlights

  • The bill permits law enforcement authorities to collect, preserve, and analyze physical and biological samples from prisoners and other individuals in order to identify and investigate criminal offenses.
  • These provisions will also apply to anybody detained under any preventative detention law.
  • The Act permits the collection of photographs and specified details about convicts and other persons including finger impressions and footprint impressions. 

The act expands the list of details that can be collected-

  • Palm-print impressions,
  • Iris and retina scans, 
  • Behavioral attributes such as signature and handwriting, and 
  • Other physical and biological samples such as blood, semen, hair samples, and swabs, and their analysis. 

Authorised body

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will store physical and biological samples, as well as signature and handwriting data, for at least 75 years.
  • The NCRB also has the authority to share the information with any other law enforcement agency.
  • It also allows for the measuring of criminals and "other persons" for the sake of identification and criminal investigation.

Documented period

  • Details must be kept in digital or electronic form for 75 years from the date of collection, according to the act.
  • If a person has not been previously convicted and has been freed without trial, discharged, or acquitted by the court after exhausting all legal remedies, the record may be deleted.
  • In the instance of such persons, a Court or a Magistrate may order the keeping of details after documenting reasons in writing.

Case of refusal

  • According to the act, refusing to provide information will be considered a crime under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • In the event of such resistance or refusal, police officers or prison officers may gather information in the way allowed by state or federal government rules.

Person who are Authorised

  • Details may be collected by police officers who: 
    • Are in charge of a police station, 
    • Are at least at the rank of a Head Constable. 
    • Are prison officer not below the rank of head warden.

Significance

  • To collect data, the law makes use of cutting-edge technology. For example, a retina scan, biometrics, and previously used fingers scanning are all examples.
  • It proposes that no one engaging in political agitation be forced to provide (physical and biometric) measures solely for the sake of political agitation. However, if a political leader is detained in a criminal case, he must be treated equally to a citizen.
  • It's appropriate for the new nature of the crime.
  • It proposes that the police and forensic departments be strengthened.

Concerns with the Act

  • It falls short of the fundamental right to equality (Article 14), the right against self-incrimination (Article 20(3)), and the right to privacy (Article 21).
  • The act also creates an arbitrary distinction between classes of people who may or may not be compelled to provide sensitive personal information.
  • Violating right to privacy (If an infringement of the right to privacy satisfies the test of the doctrine of proportionality as laid down in Puttaswamy II case).
  • Under the act, there is an excessive delegation of power to various functionaries and authorities, including prison staff and the police.
  • The act is vague and opaque since the purpose for which the measures are to be collected, stored, preserved, or disseminated is not specified.
  • The length of time that such measurements must be kept, as well as the grounds for their removal and destruction, are all procedural safeguards that the parent statute should provide but does not.

Way forward

  • It must be ensured that the right to privacy is protected while preserving national security as a top priority.
  • No one should be prosecuted who is innocent.
  • The investigating police should have the necessary training.
  • Better scrutiny and data protection law, measures need to be taken for better implementation of the law as well.

Conclusion

  • The act should not be used as a "witch-hunt" instrument by politicians. DNA profiling should be utilised exclusively in the case of serious crimes and counter-terrorism. A cultured and competent police force is necessary for the development and maintenance of a civilised and progressive society. 

 


Comments
List view
Grid view

Current News List