Sunday, March 3, 2024

Lok Sabha: Opposition calls Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill ‘draconian’

Opposition calls Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill ‘draconian’
After the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 was moved to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Opposition MPs termed the law “draconian” and “violative” of the Constitution.

After the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 was moved to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Opposition MPs termed the law “draconian” and “violative” of the Constitution.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary said that the Bll infringes upon the right to privacy.

“I rise to vehemently oppose the introduction of the Bill. The law can ask those people who have been convicted by the court to give their biometric measurements. However, the present bill seeks to empower the police and court to take measurements of persons who are undertrial and who are suspected to be involved in a case or there is a presumption against a person that he may, in future, commit any illegal act. This provision is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution, i.e., right to freedom and personal liberty,” Chowdhary said.

MP Manish Tewari opposed the Bill saying it violated Article 20 (3) which states, “No person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself”.

Tewari said that keeping the record of measurements for the next 75 years violates the Right to be Forgotten. “The House must deliberate whether it’s in the legislative competence of the August House to consider such illegal legislation,” Tewari added.

According to TMC member Sougata Ray, an incorrect Bill had been brought before the House and therefore it would be inappropriate to introduce it.

RSP member NK Premachandran said the Bill is “violative” of the Constitution.

The new Bill would enable the police and prison officers across India to collect, store and analyse physical and biological samples, iris and retina scan and signature and handwriting of arrested or convicted prisoners, according to The Hindu. The Bill seeks to repeal The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 whose scope was limited to allow for taking of finger impressions and foot-print impressions of limited category of convicted and non-convicted persons and photographs on the order of a Magistrate.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni said the “Bill will not only help our investigation agencies but also increase prosecution. There is also a chance of an increase in the conviction rate in courts through it”.

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