Sunday, March 3, 2024

Lok Sabha passes Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill by voice vote

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill was passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

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.

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.

The Union government’s intention to bring the Bill is to strengthen the law and order and internal security of the country, Home Minister Amit Shah said in the House, claiming that concerns over human and personal rights have been taken care of in the draft legislation.

Opposition members termed the provisions of the Bill as “draconian.”

Some Opposition members demanded that the Bill be referred to a Parliamentary standing committee to ensure stronger safeguards to prevent its misuse.

According to Congress member Manish Tewari, the draft legislation was “draconian and against civil liberties.”

Tewari said that the Bill was against the spirit of Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution dealing with human rights and with civil liberties.

“The Bill would pave the way for India to become a surveillance state,” he warned.

Dayanadhi Maran of DMK alleged that the Bill was anti-people and against the spirit of federalism.

Accusing the government of trying to establish a surveillance state by bringing in such a legislation, Maran said, “It is open ended and infringes on the privacy of individuals.”

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