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The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022

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The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022

Recently the Center has introduced the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 (The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022) in the Lok Sabha.

  • This bill has been introduced by the government on behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs. In this bill, a provision has been made to give the right to take biometric measurements or samples of the guilty and other persons for the purpose of identification and investigation in criminal or criminal cases. Also, a provision has been made in this bill to keep such records safe.
  • When this bill becomes law, it will replace “The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920”.
  • It is to be noted that in the Prisoner Identification Act, only the right to take fingerprints and footprints has been provided.

Salient Features of the Bill:

  • This bill gives legal authority to the police to collect physical and biological samples of the convicted i.e. convicts and accused persons. Police can store such records and identify the persons concerned in future.
  • The Bill defines “measurements” to include the following – fingerprints, palm and foot prints, photographs, iris, retinal scans, anatomical or biological specimens, etc.
  • The records of such measurements shall be preserved for the next 75 years from the date of sampling. The Bill also proposes to collect samples of behavioral characteristics (such as signature, handwriting) or any other test included in Section 53 or Section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) 1973 under “Measurements”.
  • The Bill empowers the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to collect, store and preserve records of measurements. In addition, the Bill also empowers the NCRB to share, disseminate, destroy and dispose of these records.
  • The Bill provides for the right to take biometric measurements of the following three types of persons.

Key concerns related to this bill:

  • Violation of Fundamental Rights: The provisions of this bill also violate the fundamental rights to life and privacy of citizens described in violation of Article 20(3) of the Constitution.
  • Who includes “other persons” is not clearly defined.
  • It also violates the “right to be forgotten” given by the Supreme Court in Justice KS Puttaswamy v Union of India.

Source – The Hindu

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