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Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022 passed in Parliament

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Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022 was passed by the Parliament after it got a clear signal from Rajya Sabha through voice vote on Wednesday. It was already tabled and passed in Lok Sabha on Monday after the Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced it.

The Bill on the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022 which is cleared in both the houses, will now be sent to the President for his assent. Once the bill receives his assent, it becomes an act.

The reason why this bill was introduced is that it aims to replace the Identification of Prisoners Act 1920. In the year 1980s, the Law Commission of India , had recommended significant changes to the existing law.

Provisions of the new bill

  • This bill will now allow the NCRB to collect,store and analyse physical and biological samples of the prisoners including their retina and iris scans.
  • The persons arrested under any preventive detention law shall also be subjected to it.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which has been a nodal agency to store data shall be allowed to keep physical,biological and hand written data for at least 75 years. The NCRB has also been empowered to share the records with other law enforcement agencies.
  • The bill will also authorize the law enforcement agencies to take measurements of convicts and “for identification and investigation in criminal matters, on the order of a magistrate.
  • State governments and the Union Territory administration may notify an appropriate agency to collect, preserve and share the measurements of a person of interest in their respective jurisdictions.
  • There is a provision of  penalising individuals if they refuse the  authorities from taking sufficient measurements and data.
  • Although the consent shall be taken before taking biological samples, the bill allows forceful collection of such samples from persons arrested in crimes like rape, molestation or offence which carry a minimum of seven years imprisonment.
  • Also the magistrate can order collection of information from any person, to aide in investigations.

Also Read: Supreme Court directs Odisha mining firm to reply on Centre’s impleadment application

What all does the data contain of?

The data that shall be collected includes:

  • Biometrics data like finger prints, palm prints, foot prints, iris and retina scan
  •  Biological samples like blood,saliva, semen, saliva, and DNA samples
  •  Behavioural attributes like signature, handwriting, voice samples etc.

Importance of the Bill

  • The bill uses the modern technologies and procedures to capture and record appropriate body measurements, the law that currently exists has only the provision of collecting fingerprint and footprint impressions for a limited category of convicts.
  • The “ambit of people” whose data can be collected will help the investigating agencies to obtain necessary legally admissible evidence .
  • This Bill will also reduce the organized crime and cyber crimes. The bill will help to check serious national and global threats posed by them.
  • Also Read: Patna High Court directs Bihar Chief Secretary to decide on plans to improve airports in Bihar

At the time of discussion of the bill, P. Chidambaram  the famous Congress MP said the bill is as “dangerous”, las it leads to “involuntary confession” and also that it is a violation to Article 20 and 21.

Chidambaram also said that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Selvi v. State of Karnataka, 2010 which prohibited administration of Narco Analysis, Polygraph Test and Brain Mapping as being violative of Privacy was also overlooked in this case .

Union Home Minister Amit Shah  said that” new techniques are essential to tackle new-generation crimes and enhance conviction rate.”  He also explained to many members of parliament that the provisions will be used only in the cases of heinous crimes and corresponding clarifications  on the rules will will follow soon

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