The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022

Introduction

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act,2022 provides a legal sanction to law enforcement agencies for “taking a measurement of conviction and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation of criminal matters”.[1]

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 28, 2022, and The Ministry of Home Affairs notified it to come into force from 4th August 2022 it also repeals the existing identification of Prisoners act, 1920[2].

About Identification of Prisoner Act

The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 allows police officers to collect certain identifiable information (fingerprints and footprints) of persons including convicts and arrested persons[3].

Also, a Magistrate may order measurements or photographs of a person to be taken to aid the investigation of an offence.  In case of acquittal or discharge of the person, all material must be destroyed.

Why there is a need for this Identification Law?

Now, there have been advances in technology, so other measurements have been allowed to be used for criminal investigation.

So, there is one bill pending in Lok Sabha, The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 2019 provides a framework for using DNA technology for using it in criminal investigations.

In 1980, The Law Commission of India, while examining the 1920 Act, noted the need to revise it to bring it in line with modern trends in criminal investigation[4] and also in March 2003, there is an Expert Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System also recommended amending the 1920 Act to empower the Magister to authorize the collection of data such as blood samples for hair, DNA, semen and saliva..

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022

  • The act was introduced in Lok Sabha on 28 March 2022 and come into force on 4th August 2022.
  • This act repeals the previous act Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920.
  • This Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 1920 has 10 sections.

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 authorizes law enforcement agencies to collect, store and analyse physical and biological samples of convicts and other persons to identify and investigate criminal matters.[5]

Key Feature of the Act:

the type of data that may be collected,

persons from whom such data may be collected, and


the authority that may authorise such collection

Note
Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act , 2022 also provides for the data to be stored in a central database. Under both the 1920 Act and the 2022 Act, resistance or refusal to give data will be considered an offence of obstructing a public servant from doing his duty[6].

Key Provision of Criminal Procedure Identification Act, 2022

According to section 2(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022, The measurements include 

  • Impressions of fingerprints
  • Palm prints and footprints
  • Photos
  • Iris and retina scans
  • Analysis of physical and biological samples
  • Behavioural attributes
  • Signature and Handwriting.

According to section 4(1) of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 National Crime  Records Bureau (NCRB) is empowered to collect the record of measurements from the State Government or Union territory Administration or any other law enforcement agencies. It shall store, preserve and destroy the record of measurements at the national level.

According to section 5 of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 the magistrate is empowered to direct a person to give measurements for the purpose of any investigation or proceeding under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or any other law for the time being in force.

According to section 6 of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022The police officer or prison officer is empowered to take measurements if any person resists or refuses to allow the taking of such measurements.

According to section 8 of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 The Central Government or the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

Any person convicted, arrested or held under any preventive detention law is required to provide “measurements” to a police officer or a prison official.

According to section 4(2) of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 The record of these measurements will be retained in digital or electronic form for a period of 75 years from the date of collection.

The records are to be destroyed in case any person, who has not been previously convicted of an offence punishable under any law with imprisonment for any term and had his/her measurements taken according to the provisions of this Act, is released without trial or discharged or acquitted by the court, after exhausting all legal remedies.

Reference Articles

1.https://prsindia.org/billtrack/the-criminal-procedure-identification-bill-2022
2.https://byjus.com/current-affairs/criminal-procedure-identification-bill-2022

Endnotes

[1] Criminal Procedure (Idectification) Act,2022

[2]  section 10 of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act,2022

[3]  Idetification of Prisoners Act,1920

[4] Eighty-Seventh Report on Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, Law Commission of India, 1980.

[5]  https://byjus.com/current-affairs/criminal-procedure-identification-bill-2022

[6] https://prsindia.org/billtrack/the-criminal-procedure-identification-bill-2022

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