Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022: The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 was passed by both Houses of Parliament amid heated protests by the Opposition.
- This Bill was introduced by the government on March 28, 2022.
- It cleared the Lok Sabha on April 4, 2022 and the Rajya Sabha on April 6, 2022.
- The government turned down demands that the Bill be referred to a Standing Committee for consideration.
- Under the bill's provisions, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will be the repository of physical and biological samples, signatures and handwriting data that can be preserved for at least 75 years.
- NCRB has also been empowered to share the records with any other law enforcement agency.
- The Union government stated that the sole purpose is to improve the conviction rate in the country and to safeguard the human rights of law-abiding citizens.
According to the 2020 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB):-
- Conviction rate in Murder cases was just 44%
- Conviction rate in Rape cases was just 39%
- Conviction rate in cases of attempted murder was just 24%
- Conviction rate in robbery was just 38%
- Conviction rate in dacoity cases was just 29%
The Union government has stated that the Bill aimed to provide the police with the essential resources for securing convictions in court.
Key Features of the Bill:
- The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022, would repeal the existing Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920.
- The police are currently permitted to only take finger and footprint impressions of a limited category of convicts and non-convicted persons.
- The Bill would empower the police and prison authorities to collect measurements and biometric samples of all detainees such as finger prints, palm prints, footprints, iris and retina scan, physical samples and behavioural attributes including handwriting and signatures.
- Biological samples can be forcibly collected from the convicted or persons arrested for crimes against women or children, or in case the crime attracts a minimum of 7 years’ jail.
- It can also be taken on the order of a magistrate to assist the investigation.
- The Bill also seeks to apply these provisions to persons held under any preventive detention law.
- As per the provisions of the new Bill any person convicted, arrested or detained under any preventive detention law will be required to provide the above-mentioned measurements to the police or a prison official.
- If any person resists or refuses to allow the taking of such measurements, it shall be lawful for the police officer or prison officer to take such measurements in such manner as may be prescribed.
- 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.
- It would authorize the police to take and preserve records of convicts and other persons for the purpose of identification and investigations.