Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022: The Home Affairs Ministry, on September 19, 2022, notified the rules governing the implementation of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022.
- The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 repeals the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, whose authority was restricted to the orderly collection of fingerprints, footprints, and photographs of certain categories of arrested and non-convicted individuals as well as the fingerprints, footprints, and photographs of the convicted.
- The act gives access to acquire the information containing the record of finger impressions, footprint impressions, iris, physical, biological samples, palm print impressions, photographs including signatures, or any other examinations mentioned in section 53 or section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973(2 of 1974).
Rulings of the Criminal Identification Act:
- The new law enables the police or a prison official of the Central, state, or Union territory administration to access the information containing palm, finger, or footprint impressions and their behavioral attributes of convicts and accused.
- Also, the act says that the authorization should have prior written approval of a police officer ranked as Superintendent of Police or above.
- Also, the measurements of a person charged with violation of any prohibitory order issued under section 144 or 145 or arrested under section 151 of Criminal Procedure,1973 shall not be taken unless they are associated with a serious offence or ordered by a court.
- The act also mentions that the measurements of a person shall not be taken unless such person has been ordered to give security for his excellent behavior or maintain peace under section 117 of the code.
Note: Measurements which include finger-impressions, palm-print, foot-print, photographs, iris and retina scan, physical, biological samples and their analysis, behavioural attributes including signatures, handwriting or any other examination are mentioned in Section 53 and Section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1974.
- The regulations permit the NCRB to periodically store and preserve the measurements in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure which include the types of equipment or devices used, method of handling, and more in a secured and encrypted manner.
- Any action of unauthorized access, distribution, or sharing of collected data under the Act shall be punishable according to the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Information Technology Act 2000.
- The rules say that the record of measurements “shall be kept and preserved in a secure and encrypted format as specified in the SOPs”.
- The SOPs will also explain the process of destruction of data.
Criminal Identification Act:
- The Criminal Identification Act provides legal sanctions to the police to take physical and biological samples of convicts and those accused of crimes.
- The act came into force after being passed by the Parliament in April 2022.
- The criminal Identification Act replaces the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, a colonial-era law and gives power to police officers to take measurements of people convicted, arrested, or facing trials in criminal cases.
- The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- In accordance with the Indian Penal Code and Special and Local Laws, it is in charge of collecting and analysing crime statistics.
- It acts as the repository of information on crime and criminals that enables investigators to link crimes to the right perpetrators.