aAfter approval by the Indian Parliament in April 2022, the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act 2022 finally came into effect. It repeals the Prisoner Identification Act of 1920, a colonial-era law that allowed police to measure suspects who have been convicted, detained or awaiting trial.
The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022, which has generated much controversy, is the focus of this article. Deliberations in the Indian Parliament took many twists and turns and lasted all day and night. With the help of this study, we will look at the many aspects of the history and growth of colonial work that tried to keep up “Badalta Bharat.”
The Prisoners Identification Act, 1920
The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act 2022 allows the collection of identifying information from individuals for the investigation of crimes. It replaced the Prisoners Identification Act of 1920, and expanded the range of persons from whom information could be collected, and the categories of information to be collected. On September 9, 1920, the Prisoners Identification Act was passed, setting out the legal principles governing the police and prisoners. Law No. 33 of 1920 was just that. The law gave permission to take photographs and measurements of prisoners and other persons. As per Section 186 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860, any non-compliance is illegal. A change to the law was requested in 2018 to include Aadhaar information and biometric information including iris scans, signatures and voice samples.
Definitions – In this law, unless there is anything to the contrary in the subject matter or context.
- “Measurements” include finger impressions and footprint impressions;
- “Police Officer” means the officer in charge of a police station, or the police officer conducting an investigation under Chapter XIV of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 (5 of 1898), or any other police officer of a rank not lower than sub. -inspector; And
- “Decision” means the course under the rules issued under this Law(1)
- previous repair procedures
This law was examined in 1980 for the first time by the 87th report of the Law Commission of India, which made various recommendations for changes. Case of UP v. Ram Babu Misra The case, in which the Supreme Court emphasized the need to amend this law, served as the background to this action.(2)
The first set of proposals identified the need to amend the law to include “palm prints,” “sample of signature or writing,” and “sample of voice” as measures. The need to allow measures for proceedings other than those governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure was raised in the second set of proposals (Criminal Procedure Committee).
2. But what are the amendments made by the new law?
The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act 2022 enables police or prison officers to collect specific identifiable information from convicted persons or those arrested for an offence. This information may include fingerprints, photographs, iris and retinal scans, biological samples and their analysis, and behavioral characteristics. The law enables the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to collect (from state governments, Federal Territories (UT) departments, or other law enforcement agencies), store, process, share, publish, and destroy measurement records, as may be provided by law rules. If someone resisted or refused to allow the measurements to be taken, it would be considered an offense under Article 186 of the IPC.(3)
a) Key Features
Take measurements: Under this Act, all convicted and arrested persons, as well as persons held under any pretrial detention law, may be required to submit their measurements. The rules state that measurements will not be taken for some people unless they have been charged or arrested in connection with any other crime. These persons include those who violate prohibition orders under Sections 144 or 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973, or who are arrested under preventive detention under Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Persons authorized to take measurements: The law states that the measurements will be taken by a police officer or prison officer. The rules specify that an authorized user, a person skilled in taking measurements, a registered medical practitioner, or any person authorized for that matter may make such measurements. The authorized user is defined as a police officer or prison officer, who has been authorized by the NCRB to access the database.
Measurement records storage: The rules specify that NCRB will issue Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for taking measurements including: (i) the specifications and format of the measurements to be taken, (ii) the specifications of the equipment that will be used to take those measurements, and (iii) the manner in which these measurements will be handled and stored.
Destroy records: The law provides that records will be destroyed in the case of persons who: (i) have not been previously convicted (of a prison offense), and (ii) are released without trial, are released, or are acquitted by a court, unless otherwise directed by before the judge or court. NCRB will destroy records as provided. According to the rules, the SOP will provide the procedure for the destruction and disposal of records. The state government, central government or UT department will nominate a contract officer to whom requests for destruction of measurement records will be submitted.
3. Popular Reflections on Law
a) Claims of being “draconian” by the opposition
The NCRB is permitted under this Act to distribute and share personal data with any law enforcement agency. This contravenes the purpose identification principle, which states that data may be lawfully collected for one purpose but can only be used for that purpose and cannot be used for any other purpose. As a result, organizations across the country may be able to access your personal information without following this rule. This procedure essentially allows police officers the freedom to collect samples. The earlier 1920 law gave police officials at the sub-inspector and higher level permission to collect information. This new law allows police officers with a rank of at least the rank of chief of police and prison officers with a rank of chief guard to take measurements.
Extending the law’s application to people arrested for any crime includes people subject to pretrial detention laws, thus placing the privacy of individuals not convicted of any wrongdoing at the mercy of the state, which violates their rights. Right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The 1920 law made it possible to take measurements from those sentenced to a current sentence of at least one year. This bill includes all convicts and anyone arrested under any law or detained even under preventive detention, it increases offenses from imprisonment for a minimum of 1 year to 7 years under Article 3, but the requirement of Article 3 is very poorly worded, if The point is that a person being arrested in connection with a crime punishable by less than 7 years is fine but the use of the word “may” in this section is itself a way of escape because when you use it with the authority of a judge to order measurements taken, it negates the useful aspect of this the condition. So, if Article 3 is read together with Article 5 and the introduction of preventive detention, it has made it much harsher than the previous law.
B) Ideas and opinions
According to the Eclipse Doctrine, any existing law that conflicts with basic rights is not completely invalid, but shadows it and remains inert but not dead. And if the situation calls for an assessment of the rights and duties that were supposed to be imposed before the implementation of the constitution, as well as the individuals who were not granted basic rights, then this will be correct. Until such time, the law infringes the fundamental right, and remains inert, but if, after being amended, that law no longer infringes the fundamental rights, the law becomes alive and effective.
It further explains that the Prisoners Identification Act 1920 would have been subject to formal discussions and deliberations in order to reach a conclusive conclusion on an official amendment subject to change or amendment of the respective regulations as was the case under colonial rule. But this is overridden by the formulation of a very different and highly amended law which claims to be the very precise form of modern law in relation to the fields of investigative research in relation to criminals in India.
Vaishnavi Singh is a student of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia of the National Law University, Lucknow and Abhijit Raj is a student of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi. Views are personal.
(2) Case of UP v. Ram Babu Misra 1980 Air 791, 1980 SCR(2)1067