Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022

Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022

The 'Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022' was put on the table in the Lok Sabha on Monday i.e.; on the 28th of March, 2022. The said Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 was introduced by the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home, Ajay Misra Teni, in the Lok Sabha.

While introducing the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday, the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home, Ajay Misra Teni said the Bill solicit to revoke of the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920. In its present form, the said Act provides access to a limited category of persons whose body measurements can be taken.

On the other hand, this Bill authorizes police to take “measurements” to mark those who have been convicted, arrested, or detained — including fingerprints impressions, palm and footprints; photos; scans of iris and retina; analysis of physical and biological samples; and behavioral attributes, including signature and handwriting. The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill authorizes law enforcement agencies to collect, retain and analyze physical and biological samples of prisoners and other persons for the purpose of identifying and investigating criminal matters.

The Bill states that it is important to expand the "ambit of persons" whose measurements can be taken as this will enable investigating agencies to gather sufficient evidence that is legally admissible and to establish the crime of the accused person.

"It’s been 102 years now. The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 provided for the collection of fingers & footprints only. The world has undergone a change in technology and science, crime is on the rise, and its practices. Therefore, we have introduced the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022," Union MoS Ajay Misra Teni said.

What does the Criminal Procedure (IDENTIFICATION) Bill say?

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill aims to:

  •  Defining "measurements" to include fingerprints, palm-print and foot-print, photographs, iris and retina scans, body & biological samples and analysis, etc.;

  • Enabling the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to compile, store and preserve the record of measurements and for sharing, dissemination, destruction, and disposal of records;

  • Empower the Magistrate to direct any person to make measurements; a Magistrate may also direct law enforcement officials to collect fingerprints, footprints, and photographs if there is a certain category of convicted and non-convicted persons;

  • Empower police or prison officials to take measurements of any person who refuses to give measurements

In addition to the scope outlined above, the Bill also authorizes the police to record signatures, handwriting, or other aspects of conduct referred to in section 53 or section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, for analysis purposes.

According to the Bill, any person convicted, arrested, or detained under any law prohibiting arrest will be required to provide "measures" to a police officer or a prison official.

It is important to note that a record of these measurements will be kept in digital or electronic form for a period of seventy-five years from the date of collection.

Records must be destroyed in the case of any person who has not previously been convicted of an offense punishable under any law with imprisonment for any term, and had his/her measurements were taken in accordance with the provisions of this Act, he/she shall be released without trial or discharged or acquitted by the court, after having exhausted all legal remedies. In such cases, the court or Magistrate, for reasons that must be recorded in writing, may direct agencies to keep the records.

According to the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, any state administration of the Union Territory administration may notify an appropriate agency to collect, preserve and share the measurements of a person of interest in their respective jurisdictions.

Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022: Key Provisions of the Bill in 5 Points

  • The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022 will cancel the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, which is limited to collecting fingerprints and footprints for a limited category of prisoners. 

  • The new bill will allow the police to take measurements of all convicts and other detainees in order to keep records for the purpose of their identification. 

  • As per provisions of the new Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022, any person detained, convicted, imprisoned, or under any other preventive detention, the law shall be required to provide "measurements" to a police officer or officer of a prison.

  • The bill will allow the police to take an iris and retina scan, photographs, fingerprints, palm impressions, footprints, physical & biological samples, and their analysis.

  • The bill will also permit the police to collect their behavioral attributes including signatures and handwriting or other examination which are referred to under section 53 or section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

What is the Significance of the Bill?

  • Using Modern Techniques:

The bill makes provisions for the use of modern techniques for capturing and recording appropriate body measurements. The existing law — the Identification of Prisoners Act — dates back to 1920 and allowed only taking fingerprints and footprints of a limited category of convicted persons.

  • Investment Assistance Agencies:

The Bill seeks to expand the ‘‘ambit of persons’’ whose measurements can be taken as this will help the investigating agencies to gather sufficient legally admissible evidence and establish the crime of the accused person.

  • Make the Investigation of Crime More Efficient:

The bill provides a legal penalty for taking appropriate body measurements of persons who are required to provide such measurements and will make the crime investigation more efficient and speedy and will also help increase the conviction rate.


Priya Goel
Graduate in B.A LLB (Hons) from GGSIP University

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