Decoding the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 | In Focus podcast

On March 28, the government introduced a new Bill in the Lok Sabha – the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022. The Opposition vehemently opposed it, going so far as to seek a division of votes. But it failed to defeat the introduction of the Bill, as it could muster only 58 votes against, with 120 votes in favour of the Bill.

On the face of it, the Bill proposes to empower police and prison authorities to take “measurements of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation in criminal matters”. The term “measurements” includes finger-impressions, palm-print impressions, foot-print impressions, photographs, iris and retina scan, and even biological samples.

Criticism from the Opposition has broadly followed two strands. One thread argues that the Bill violates certain constitutional principles and guarantees and that it goes beyond the House’s “legislative competence”. The other set of criticisms dwell on the fact that it gives too much power to the executive, with very little accountability, raising the temptation for abuse of this law’s provisions.

So, does India really need a Bill of this kind, and how does the current draft of the Bill fare when assessed against constitutional norms?

Guest: Apar Gupta, Executive Director at the Internet Freedom Foundation, a Delhi-based non-profit that conducts advocacy on digital rights and liberties

Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu

Edited by Ranjani Srinivasan

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 10:01:25 am | https://www.thehindu.com/podcast/decoding-the-criminal-procedure-identification-bill-2022-in-focus-podcast/article65281561.ece