Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 passed by Lok Sabha [4.4.2022]

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The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill was passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill seeks to provide legal sanction to the police to take physical and biological samples of convicts as well as persons accused of crimes.

The 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, asserting that concerns over human and personal rights have been taken care of in the draft legislation. “A lot of the concerns will be addressed with the sending of that prison manual. It has various provisions relating to subjects such as rehabilitation of prisoners, making them part of the mainstream again, limiting the rights of jail officials, maintaining discipline, security of jails, separate jails for women and open jails,” Shah said.

Opposition members termed the provisions of the Bill as “draconian” and demanded that it be referred to a Parliamentary standing committee to ensure stronger safeguards to prevent its misuse. During a discussion on the Bill in the Lok Sabha, members voiced concern over the broad provisions in the draft legislation that empowered a head constable of a police station or a head warden of a jail to take “measurements” of convicts as well as those in preventive detention. Earlier on Monday, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned, amid repreated disruptions by the Opposition over the hike in prices of petroleum products and essential commodities.

The Home Minister said that members should not worry at all about the misuse of this Bill, adding that we cannot delay the employment of advanced technologies in the criminal justice system.

Honourable Speaker Om Birla took a voice vote on the Bill and with ‘ayes’ having the majority, the Lok Sabha passed The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, along with its clauses.

“We cannot tackle next-generation crime with old technologies,” says Union Home Minister Amit Shah, adding that the government has taken various steps in this regard, from setting up a Modus Operandi Bureau in the Home Ministry to study crimes to carrying out an exercise to improve the IPC and CrPC.

“That is why I am asking members not to view this Bill in isolation, it is just one of the initiatives we have taken to improve the criminal justice system. There is a need to see this with a holistic view.”

06 Apr 2022