On September 20, the Union Home Ministry has notified rules under the Criminal Procedure (Identity) Act 2022 that empowers the police to obtain physical and biological samples of convicts involved in crimes.
Under this law, the police will be able to take physical and biological samples of convicts and prisoners for investigation in criminal cases. Along with this, this law also empowers the magistrate to order the taking of measurements or photographs of any person to aid in the investigation of any offence. What is so in this bill? Which the opposition opposed in Parliament. So let us know what is the Criminal Procedure (Identity) Act, 2022?
What’s in the law?
According to this law, an authorized person who can be a police officer, a prison officer of the central or state government. The authorized officer shall have to hand over the fingerprints, palm impressions, footprints, photographs, iris, retinal scans, physical, biological samples of the accused and their analysis, behavioral features, signatures, handwriting or section 53 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or section 53 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. May take measurements relating to any other probe referred to in 53A.
At the same time, it has been said in this law that an authorized user or any person skilled in taking measurements, a certified doctor or any other person so authorized can take measurements of a person arrested in any criminal case, but for this, at least SP rank. It is necessary to get approval in writing from the officer.
The Criminal Procedure (Identity) Act 2022 was passed in the Lok Sabha on 4 April 2022 and in the Rajya Sabha on 6 April 2022. After the approval of the President, it was officially implemented on 18 April 2022.
What was in the old law?
At the same time, ‘The Identification of Prisoners Act 1920’ was applicable for the identification of criminals till now and the cases related to them. This law was old and of the British era, while this old law also has its limitations. Under this law, only fingerprints and fingerprints of criminals are allowed to be taken. Apart from this, photos can be taken after the order of the magistrate.
The new law will replace ‘The Identification of Prisoners Act 1920’. With the coming of the new law, the officer can take all kinds of measurements to identify the guilty and the arrested accused in any case.
what is protest
There was a lot of uproar while introducing the new criminal bill in the Lok Sabha. Leaders of opposition parties had objected to the bill. Opposition leaders say that this bill violates Article 21 of the Constitution. The opposition also says that this will violate human rights including the fundamental right to privacy, freedom of Indian citizens.
However, Home Minister Amit Shah had clarified in the Lok Sabha that people detained for fear of breach of peace and in case of political protests would be kept out of the purview of this Act.
Will replace the law of 1920
Actually, this Act has replaced the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920. It has also been told that NCRB will issue an SOP to measure the culprits. In this, the equipment, format, measurement will be digital or physical, how the state and union territory administration will store and handle the measurement, information technology system for measurement, etc.
In such a situation, it would be an offense not to measure
The notification also states that if any person whose measurement is to be taken under law refuses to be taken, the authorized person may take the measurement under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1972). Under the Act, protesting or refusing to provide data shall be deemed an offense to prevent a public servant from performing his duty.
Data safe for 75 years
The new Criminal Procedure (Identity) Act also states that the data of criminals can be preserved for 75 years. At the same time, it is mentioned in the law that the responsibility of keeping the data safe will be of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Introducing the bill in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni had said that the law will make it easier to identify criminals and speed up investigation. This will also increase the rate of prosecution and conviction in court.
In addition to the inspector, the head constable will also take records
Under the Criminal Procedure (Identity) Act, 2022, officers of the rank of head constable or above, in addition to the inspector in charge of the police station, will be able to collect data of criminals. In this, the warden of the jail will also be able to take samples. Apart from this, the law says that the judicial magistrate of the first class level will give orders to collect the data of the accused and the convicts.