RS passes Bill to empower investigating agencies

New Delhi, April 6 : The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. It was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha on April 4 by voice vote. The legislation repeals The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, and enables investigating officers to collect the biometric details, including retina and iris scan of the convicted, arrested and detained persons. Responding to the debate on the Bill, on Home Minister Amit Shah said that the government doesn’t intend to misuse the Bill as alleged by several Opposition members during the debate. “Our only aim to bring this Bill is to reduce the rate of crimes, improve the conviction rate in the country, improve law and order situation and strengthen the internal security of the country,” he said allaying apprehensions by the Opposition. He said that the Bill aims at capacity building of police, forensic team along with making scientific evidence available to prosecution agencies. Shah said that the Act is a kid in terms of strictness as compared to laws of some other countries like South Africa, UK, Australia, Canada and US, which is why the conviction rate in these countries is better. “It is but natural that you doubt misuse of the law since you misused laws during your tenure at the Centre,” Amit Shah said targeting the Congress members who alleged that the government intended to misuse the provisions of the Bill. The minister said that the Bill empowers the National Crime Records Bureau to collect, store and preserve the record of measurements and for sharing, dissemination, destruction and disposal of records. He said that the question of data leakage doesn’t arise and there will be no violation of anybody’s privacy. “Human Rights cannot be one sided. When bomb blasts take place, thousands are killed in terror attacks, the victims do also have human rights, and not just the terrorists,” Shah said. Veteran Congress leader and former on home minister P Chidambaram said that liberty and privacy are two of the most important rights and the Bill ‘violates these rights’. He asked the Bill be sent to a Standing Committee or a Select Committee. ASU GK

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