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Parliament passes the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022: All you need to know about the bill on collection of information related to crimes

With the passing of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022 in both houses, the bill will now be sent to the President for his assent. Once the bill receives his assent, it becomes an act.

On Wednesday, Parliament passed the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on Monday after Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced it. Two days later, the upper house of Parliament – Rajya Sabha, also passed the bill by a voice vote today.

With the passing of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022 in both houses, the bill will now be sent to the President for his assent. Once the bill receives his assent, it becomes an act.

Why was the new bill introduced?

  • The bill aims to replace the Identification of Prisoners Act 1920. In the 1980s, the Law Commission of India, in its 87th report, had recommended significant changes to the existing law.

What are the provisions of the new bill?

  • The new bill will allow the police and prison authorities to collect, store and analyse physical and biological samples, including retina and iris scans, of convicts and persons arrested on various charges.
  • The new bill is also applicable to the persons arrested under any preventive detention law.
  • Under the new bill, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has been the nodal agency to store the physical and biological samples, signatures and handwriting data.
  • The bill allows NCRB to preserve the data for at least 75 years. The NCRB has also been empowered to share the records with other law enforcement agencies.
  • It also authorises law enforcement agencies to take measurements of convicts and “any other persons” for identification and investigation in criminal matters, on the order of a magistrate.
  • Any state government of Union Territory administration may notify an appropriate agency to collect, preserve and share the measurements of a person of interest in their respective jurisdictions.
  • The new also penalises individuals if they refuse to allow authorities from taking sufficient measurements and data.
  • While consent will taken before taking biological samples, the bill provides for forceful collection of such samples from persons arrested for offences against a woman or a child, or if the offence carries a minimum of seven years imprisonment.

The Bill permits the collection of identification information about individuals for the investigation of crime. The bill expands the kind of information that can be collected, and it also expands the kind of persons whose data may be collected, as it includes convicts and arrested persons for any offence. It also allows the magistrate to order collection of information from any person, to aide in investigations.

The data to be collected can include biometrics data like finger prints, palm prints, foot prints, iris and retina scan, physical and biological samples like blood, semen, saliva, etc including DNA samples, and behavioural attributes like signature, handwriting, voice samples etc.

A person may refuse to give biological samples. However, it will not be applicable if the offence is related to crime against women or children, or the crime carries a minimum punishment of seven years imprisonment.

What is the significance of the bill?

  • The highlight of the new bill is that it has provisions for using modern technologies and procedures to capture and record appropriate body measurements. The existing law only allowed authorities to take only fingerprint and footprint impressions of a limited category of convicted persons.
  • The new bill also expands the “ambit of persons” whose measurements can be collected will help the investigating agencies to obtain necessary legally admissible evidence and establish the crime of the accused person.
  • The proposed bill will minimise the threat from organised crime, cybercriminals and terrorists who are proficient in identity theft and identity fraud. The bill will help to check serious national and global threats posed by them.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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