The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill that seeks to authorise police to take measurements of convicts and other persons for purposes of identification and investigation of criminal matters was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday after a vote forced by the opposition.
The Bill was introduced by the Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’, after a division of votes with 120 members voting in favour of the introduction of the draft legislation while 58 members voted against it.
The Bill seeks to authorise taking measurements of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation in criminal matters and to preserve records and related matters.
Opposition members contended that the Bill was beyond the legislative competence of Parliament as it violated the fundamental rights of citizens. Congress member Manish Tewari contended that the bill implied the use of force in the collection of biological information, which could also lead to narco analysis. RSP member N K Premachandran, Trinamool member Saugata Roy, Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and BSP member Ritesh Pandey also opposed the introduction of the Bill.
Minister Mishra dismissed the apprehensions voiced by the members and said the Bill sought to replace a 102-year-old law that only allowed the collection of fingerprints and footprints of convicts.
He said there have been massive changes in science and technology over the years and the same is required to be incorporated in the investigation of crimes. Mishra said consultations on the Bill were held with state governments and union territories and everybody had supported the measure.
He said the Law Commission too had suggested changes to the law in 1980, but the recommendations were not acted upon for 42 years.