President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, who empowers police to obtain physical and biological samples of convicts and those accused of crimes. The Act, which replaces the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, was passed by Lok Sabha on 4 April 2022 and Rajya Sabha on 6 April 2022.

More about the Act

  1. Apart from providing legal sanction to police to obtain physical and biological samples of convicts and detainees for investigation in criminal matters, the legislation also empowers a magistrate to order measurements or photographs of a person to be taken to aid the investigation of an offence.
  2. The Act explained the types of data that may be collected, people from whom such data may be collected and the authority that can authorise such collection. It also provides for the data to be stored in a central database.
  3. Both the 1920 Act and the 2022 legislation clarified that resistance or refusal to give data will be considered as an offence of obstructing a public servant from doing his duty.
  4. Section 2(1)(b) of the Bill defines “measurements” to include finger impressions, palm-print impressions, footprint impressions, photographs, iris and retina scans, physical and biological samples and their analysis, behavioural attributes including signatures and handwriting, or any other examination referred to in Section 53 or Section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973. Section 53 relates to the medical examination of a person arrested.