criminal

On 28-3-2022, the Lok Sabha had passed the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 which enables investigating officers to gather the biometric detail of the prisoners.

Aim of the bill: To broaden the “ambit of persons” who can be measured. This new bill will be of great help to the investigative authorities in acquiring adequate legally admissible evidence and also aids in establishing the accused person’s crime.

For the purposes of inquiry, the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 also permits the police to keep track of handwriting, signatures, and other examination of such behavioural attributes which are referred to in Section 53 or Section 53-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Why do we need this act?

The bill seeks to repeal the Identification of Prisoners Act of 1920, which permits only the collection of personal identifiable information like fingerprint and footprint impressions of a selected group of individuals, such as criminals, in order to conduct criminal investigations. The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 will enable the use of modern methods to capture and record acceptable body dimensions.  The bill stipulates the legal authority for taking proper body measurements of those individuals who are compelled to submit such body measurements, which would not only improve the efficiency and speed of the criminal investigations but will also enhance the conviction rate.

What is the bill’s definition of measurements?

According to the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 criteria, anyone who is imprisoned, convicted, or held under any preventive detention act will be obliged to give the “measurements” to the police officer or to a prison official.

The following are included in the Bill’s definition of “measurements”

  • finger imprints
  • palm print impressions
  • footprint impressions
  • photos
  • iris scan
  • retina scan
  • physical samples and their analysis
  • biological samples and their analysis

Objective of the bill:

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 was introduced with the objective of authorising the police authorities to take appropriate measures of the convicts and other individuals for the sake of identification and investigation in the criminal circumstances, and also the preservation of records, among other things. The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 also expands the reach of such data as well as the people who can collect it.

Important factors of the bill:

  • The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 will allow for the application of contemporary technology to take and record accurate body measurements.
  • To any person who refuses or resists to offer the body measures should be able to be measured by the concerned police or jail authorities.
  • The bill not only authorizes the National Crime Records Bureau to collect, store, preserve and maintain specified records of measurements but also to share, disseminate, destroy and dispose of such records.
  • To bill allows a Magistrate to order anyone to take measures. Additionally, a Magistrate can also order law enforcement authorities to collect necessary measures in the case of a specific category of convicted and non-convicted individuals

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