ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 and the Right to Privacy

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Recently, the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 was passed by the Lok Sabha. The bill seeks to replace the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, which authorised the taking of measurements for identification and investigation in criminal matters. A key feature of the bill is its widened definition of measurements, which includes iris and retina scans, behavioural attributes, including signatures, handwriting, finger impressions, footprint impressions, palm-print impressions, photographs, and also physical, biological samples “and their analysis.” The words “and their analysis” in the definition of measurements imply the possibility of using various sources of information to create profiles. As per the bill, the measurements would be retained in digital or electronic form for 75 years.

Another key feature of the bill is its widened scope as it applies to the collection of measurements not only from convicted persons but also from persons arrested for any offence punishable by law. The severity of the offence has not been mentioned, thereby creating a possibility of collecting measurements from persons arrested for any offence. In addition, measurements may also be taken from persons not arrested for an offence if the magistrate is satisfied that the measurements may serve the purpose of investigation. Importantly, the bill makes it an offence to resist or refuse the taking of measurements. When there is refusal or resistance by persons whose measurements are sought, it would be lawful for the police to take measurements in the manner prescribed under the law.

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Updated On : 17th Apr, 2022
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