UPSC Courses

DNA banner


  • 08 August, 2022

  • 11 Min Read

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act

Recently, the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act which was passed by the Parliament, came into force.

More About the Act

The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 from the colonial era is replaced by the new law.

The new law permits investigators to gather specific identifiable information about prisoners and other people for the purpose of identifying them and conducting criminal investigations.

Legal authorization for data collection:

The new law gives the police the authority to gather physical and biological samples from suspects and criminal defendants alike. It empowers police to collect:

  • Fingerprints
  • Palm print and footprints
  • Photos
  • Iris and retina scans
  • Analysis of physical and biological samples
  • Behavioural attributes
  • Signature and handwriting

Persons in preventive detention:

The Act also seeks to apply to persons detained under any preventive detention law.

The National Crime Records Bureau's (NCRB) function is:

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is also given legal authority by the law to store, protect, share, and delete the national record of measures.
  • The records may be kept for up to 75 years.


  • Additionally, it eliminates the requirement that a crime is punished by at least a year or longer in prison in order for "measures" to be implemented.


  • The law only permits an exception in the form of required consent for "biological samples," unless the accused has been arrested for sexual assault against women or children or for a crime that has a statutory minimum sentence of seven years.

Power of magistrate

  • The statute gives the magistrate the authority to order someone to provide information in order to conduct an investigation or other legal action under the CrPC.
  • The Magistrate may be a Metropolitan Magistrate, a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class, or an Executive Magistrate depending on particular conditions (such as the area in question).

Juvenile records:

  • The Act does not specifically prohibit obtaining measurements of children.
  • Regarding the deletion of records of convictions made under the Act, the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 (Special Act) shall apply.

Significance of bills

  • The act makes use of cutting-edge technology to gather data.
  • such as a retina scan, biometrics, and fingertips that have already been scanned.
  • Utilizing more advanced technologies will only reduce the likelihood of errors.
  • It suggests making sure that no political agitator is required to provide (physical and biometric) measurements solely for political agitation.
  • However, if a political figure is detained in connection with a crime, he must be treated equally with citizens.
  • It is appropriate given how crimes are evolving.
  • It suggests enhancing the police and forensic department's capabilities.

Criticism of the bill

The Opposition raised concern that the Act's reference to "biological samples and their analysis" would provide authorities permission to conduct narcoanalysis and brain mapping.


  • The act is unclear and opaque since it does not specify why the measurements are being gathered, stored, preserved, or disseminated.
  • Procedures protections that the parent statute itself must establish but do not include the duration for which such measurements shall be retained and the reasons for their removal and destruction.


  • It claimed that the Act would provide authorities the authority to measure suspects and detainees against their will, in violation of a number of Supreme Court rulings and the rights of prisoners.

Over delegation of power and surveillance state:

  • The statute grants excessive delegation of power to a number of officials and authorities, including the police and prison guards.
  • The act was criticised by some as being a step toward a surveillance state.

Contrary to the Constitution

  • The fundamental rights to equality (providing under Article 14), the right against self-incrimination (providing under Article 20(3)), and the right to privacy (providing under Article 21) of the Indian Constitution are all clearly violated by the act, according to a regulatory and scientific analysis of the law.
  • A violation of a person's right to privacy is considered constitutional if it passes the Puttaswamy II-established proportionality test.
  • In accordance with the doctrine of proportionality, there must be (I )a justifiable goal, (ii) appropriate means, (iii) a need for means, and (iv) proportionality stricto sensu.

Way forward

Protection against abuse:

  • The government promised that the regulations would include protections against any abuse of the identifying database and biological samples by establishing accountability of those in charge of data security.

Strengthening criminal procedure:

  • According to the government, this bill will strengthen criminal procedures by centralizing information and evidence to boost conviction rates.


  • Enforcement agencies must be permitted to employ scientific approaches to prevent and detect crime in order to facilitate identification and investigation in criminal situations.
  • The investigating police should have the necessary training.
  • As long as national security is the top priority, it is important to retain the right to privacy.

Source: The Indian Express


E-pharmacies The Ministry of Health sent "show cause" letters to at least 20 businesses in February 2023 for online drug sales, including Tata-1mg, Flipkart, Apollo, PharmEasy, Amazon, and Reliance Netmeds. What is e-pharmacy? E-pharmacy refers to the purchasing and selling of drugs and other pharmaceutical products through a

Punchhi Commission Report

Punchhi Commission Report The Punchhi Commission's report on relations between the federal government and its constituent states will now be reviewed for state responses, according to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Historical Background: A Commission on Centre-State Relations was established by the Indian government,

Indo-German Relations

Indo-German Relations Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany, recently paid a bilateral visit to India. It is Scholz's first trip to India after taking office as German Chancellor in December 2021, ending Angela Merkel's illustrious 16-year reign. About the news: The visit of the German chancellor is significant because i

India Denmark Cooperation

India Denmark Cooperation During the "India-Denmark: Partners for Green and Sustainable Development Conference" in New Delhi, the Union Minister for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change said that India and Denmark can work together to show that reaching ambitious climate and sustainable energy targets is possible. Since the Gr

Mob lynching and Cow Vigilantism

Mob lynching and Cow Vigilantism The recent lynching and burning of two men in Haryana on the basis of allegations of unlawful cow slaughter, smuggling, or transportation bring attention to the problem of mob lynching. About cow vigilantism: Mob attacks carried out in the guise of "cow protection" primarily target Mus


Search By Date

Post Feed

Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts