Thursday, 7 July 2022



The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022, updates the 102-year-old Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, and broadens the breadth of information that the government can gather from prisoners, arrested people, and other people like habitual criminals.

The bill broadens (i) the types of data that can be collected, (ii) the people from whom such data can be acquired, and (iii) the authorities that can authorise such data collection. It also stipulates that the information be stored in a central database. Resistance or refusal to provide data will be considered an act of impeding a public official from performing his duties under both the 1920 Act and the 2022 Bill.


  1. Data that can be collected:

According to PRS Legislative, under existing law, police were only allowed to take fingerprints and footprints of a select group of convicted and non-convicted people, as well as photographs, on the direction of a magistrate. However, under sections 53 and 53A of the CrPC, the police will be able to take biological samples and analyse them, as well as behavioural characteristics such as signatures, handwriting, and examinations (includes blood, semen, hair samples, and swabs, and analyses such as DNA profiling).

  1. . Data permitted to be collected:

According to PRS Legislative, under the existing law, the police was limited to only taking finger impressions and foot-print impressions of a limited category of convicted and non-convicted persons and photographs on the order of a magistrate. However, the new law will allow the police to take biological samples, and their analysis, behavioural attributes including signatures, handwriting, and examinations under sections 53 and 53A of CrPC (includes blood, semen, hair samples, and swabs, and analyses such as DNA profiling).

This means that the bill expands the types of information that can be gathered to include biometrics (fingerprints, palm prints, foot prints, iris and retina scans), physical and biological samples, and behavioural characteristics (signature, handwriting, and could include voice samples). It does not limit the measures to those that are required for a particular research.

  1.  Persons whose personal information may be gathered

Under the previous law, data could only be gathered on persons who had been convicted or arrested for crimes that carried a sentence of one year or more in jail.Anyone who is convicted or arrested for any crime can have their data gathered under the new law. Biological samples may only be collected forcibly from anyone imprisoned for crimes against women or children, or if the crime has a minimum sentence of seven years in jail. The bill also allows for the collection of crucial information about "other persons" for the purposes of identification and criminal investigation. It doesn't define "other persons," meaning that it covers more than just criminals, arrestees, and prisoners.The bill also says that if a person resists giving information, the police can take it forcibly in a manner that may be prescribed by the executive later. The legislation awards limited power to refuse the collection of information.

  1. .Persons who may demand or direct data gathering

A Magistrate can require data to be collected to aid in the investigation of an infraction under the 1920 Act. The new bill reduces the rank of police official who can take the measurement (from sub-inspector to head constable) and also permits a prison's top warder to do so.

  1. . Data storage

The bill allows for the data to be kept for 75 years. The data will be collected, stored, processed, shared, and destroyed by the National Crime Records Bureau, which is part of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Only after a person arrested for a crime has been acquitted or discharged will the data be removed.


1. It was asserted that the Bill went beyond Parliament's legislative authority since it infringed on citizens' fundamental rights, particularly their right to privacy.

The bill also suggests collecting samples from demonstrators taking part in political demonstrations.

2. It is in violation of the Constitution's Article 20 (3). 'No individual accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself,' says Article 20(3).

3. The bill implied the use of coercion in gathering biological data, which may lead to narco analysis and brain mapping.

4. It also goes against the United Nations charter's human rights standards..

5.  Also, the implied use of force in clause 6(1) to take measurements violates the rights of prisoners laid down in a catena of Supreme Court judgments beginning with A K Gopalan 1950, Kharag Singh 1964 to Charles Sobhraj 1978.


Though  analysis of the bill Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 on the face of it seems that there are certain very useful up-gradation in the provisions which are accentuate to be update with high disruption and advancements over the years like The bill makes provisions for the use of modern techniques to capture and record appropriate body measurements , The Bill seeks to expand the ‘‘ambit of persons’’ whose measurements can be taken as this will help the investigating agencies to gather sufficient legally admissible evidence and establish the crime of the accused person. However, the bill is equally criticized for various infringement of the legal personal rights of people, which has to be rectified for its successful implementation.

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