Explained: Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022

Criminal Procedure Identification Bill 2022





What is Criminal Procedure Identification Bill 2022?

The Criminal Procedure Identification Bill 2022 empowers the police to obtain physical and biological samples of convicts and those accused of crimes.


Why?

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


In 1980, while examining the 1920 Act, the Law Commission of India noted the need to revise it to bring it in line with modern trends in criminal investigations.



What are the features of the Criminal Procedure Identification Bill 2022?

  • The Bill expands:

(i) the type of data that may be collected,

(ii) persons from whom such data may be collected, and (iii) the authority that may authorize such collection.

(iv) It also provides for the data to be stored in a central database.

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will be the central agency to maintain the records. It will share the data with law enforcement agencies. Further, states/UTs may notify agencies to collect, preserve, and share data in their respective jurisdictions.

  • The data collected will be retained in digital or electronic form for 75 years. Records will be destroyed in case of persons who are acquitted after all appeals or released without trial. However, in such cases, a Court or Magistrate may direct the retention of details after recording reasons in writing.


Can a person be compelled to give his measurement?

Any person who is arrested for an offence that does not involve women or children and is punishable with imprisonment of fewer than 7 years, then such person can be compelled to provide all other measurements excluding biological measurements if refused; it shall amount to an offence u/s 186 of Indian Penal Code.



What will be done with the above measurements?

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will be empowered to:

  • Collect the record of measurements from the State Government or Union territory Administration or any other law enforcement agencies;

  • Store, preserve and destroy the record of measurements at the national level

  • Process such records with relevant criminal records

  • Share such records with any law enforcement agency.



When will the above measurements be deleted?