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What you should know about bill that allows collection of prisoners’ biometrics


The Lok Sabha on Monday handed the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill by a voice vote. The bill – that seeks to exchange the Identification of Prisoners Act, of 1920 – was handed after union dwelling minister Amit Shah addressed all issues raised by the MPs about the laws. “Next-generation crimes cannot be tackled with old techniques. We have to try to take the criminal justice system to the next era,” he asserted. The opposition has raised a number of issues in opposition to the bill.

Also learn: Criminal identification bill clears Lower House

Here are 5 issues to know about the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill:

  1. The bill allows police and jail authorities to legally acquire, retailer and analyse bodily and organic samples together with retina and iris scans of these convicted. The report of measurements will probably be retained for a interval of 75 years from the date of collection, in keeping with the bill.
  2. The contentious bill proposes a authorized collection of behavioural attributes together with signatures, handwriting, or another examination referred below Section 53 or Section 53A of CrPC of the convicts.
  3. As per the laws, if there may be any resistance from the convicts to taking the measurements, it is going to be termed as an offence below Section 186 of the IPC (obstructing public servant) – resulting in a jail time period of three months, or a high-quality of 500 or each.
  4. The authorities has additionally clarified that people who find themselves not convicted or arrested for crimes in opposition to girls or kids, or these people who find themselves in custody for an offence that is punishable for lower than seven years, can refuse to offer their organic samples.
  5. Union dwelling minister Amit Shah on Monday stated that these provisions will solely be used within the instances of “heinous crimes”. He added that corresponding clarification will observe within the guidelines of the bill. According to him, the laws is geared toward “strengthening law and order and national security of the country”.

Also read: Rethink the criminal identification bill

Meanwhile, the opposition has called the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill a ‘draconian’ legislation. The opposition leaders raised several arguments in Lok Sabha on Monday. While Congress MP Manish Tewari termed the bill as ‘draconian and against civil liberties’, BSP’s Danish Ali said that the bill could “convert India into a police state and could be used to settle political scores.”

The opposition members have demanded the bill be referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee.

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