Bio samples for crime files:
Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill:
- It authorises law enforcement agencies to collect, store and analyse physical and biological samples of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation in criminal matters.
- As per the Bill, any state government OR Union Territory administration may notify an appropriate agency to collect, preserve and share the measurements of a person of interest in their respective jurisdictions.
Why such a bill:
The world has undergone technological and scientific changes, crime and its trend have increased.
Advanced countries across the globe are relying on new “measurement” techniques for reliable results.
The Bill will not only help our investigation agencies but also increase prosecution.
There is also a chance of an increase in conviction rates in courts through this.
Un-constitutionality: The proposed law will be debated against Article 20(3) of the Constitution, which is a fundamental right that guarantees the right against self-incrimination
Violation of Article 21: The Bill also seeks to apply these provisions to persons held under any preventive detention law.
Legislative competence of Centre: The Bill was beyond the legislative competence of Parliament as it violated fundamental rights of citizens, including the right to privacy.
Contentious provisions: The Bill proposes to collect samples even from protesters engaged in political protests.
Lack of clarity: Several provisions are not defined in the Bill itself. For instance, the statement of objects says it provides for collection of measurements for “convicts and other persons” but the expression “other persons” is not defined.
- Define “measurements”: To include finger impressions, palm-print and foot-print impressions, photographs, iris and retina scan, physical, biological samples and their analysis, etc.;
- Empower the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB): To collect, store and preserve the record of measurements and for sharing, dissemination, destruction and disposal of records;
- Empower a Magistrate: To direct any person to give measurements; a Magistrate can also direct law enforcement officials to collect such information in the case of a specified category of convicted and non-convicted persons;
- Empower police or prison officers: To take measurements of any person who resists or refuses to give measurements
- Resistance to or refusal to allow the taking of measurements under this Act shall be deemed to be an offence under section 186 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
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