President Approves Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill

It empowers the police to obtain physical and biological samples from convicts and those charged with crimes

It empowers the police to obtain physical and biological samples from convicts and those charged with crimes

President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, which empowers the police to obtain physical and biological samples from convicts and those charged with crimes.

The law, which replaces the 1920 Prisoner Identification Act, was passed by the Lok Sabha on April 4 and the Rajya Sabha on April 6.

“The following Act of Parliament received the President’s assent on 18 April 2022 and is published for general information: – The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 No. 11 of 2022”, an official gazette notice published by the mentioned government.

In addition to providing a legal sanction for the police to obtain physical and biological samples from convicts and detainees for the purpose of criminal investigation, the legislation also empowers a magistrate to order the taking of measurements or photographs of a person to facilitate the investigation of a violation.

If the person is acquitted or released, all the material must be destroyed.

The law has explained the types of data that can be collected, the persons from whom this data can be collected and the authority that can authorize such collection.

It also provides for the data to be stored in a central database.

The 1920 Act and the 2022 legislation clarified that resistance or refusal to provide data will be considered an offense of obstructing a public official in the performance of his or her duties.

While taking part in the legislation debate in Rajya Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said biometric data of political detainees would not be collected and the bill would exclude mapping cerebral and polygraph tests within its scope.

“Under Section 3, the Government of India has the right to make rules. We will define it and ensure that no person involved in political agitation has to give measurements (physical and biometric) only to political unrest. But if a political leader is arrested in a criminal case, then he should be on an equal footing with a citizen,” Shah said.

Several opposition parties criticized the legislation as “unconstitutional” and “draconian” and claimed it could be misused.

Mr Shah said no action will be taken against any politician for violating restraining orders issued by the police.

He said the legislation aims to improve the conviction rate.

“It aims to build the capacity of police and forensic teams,” he said.

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