Anyone living in a pre-society with unfair laws owes it to themselves to disobey
As a result, there is always a need to update the legislation to meet the
demands of society. The Indian government has acknowledged this need and is
working to update the Identification of Prisoners Act of 1920, which has proven
less efficient as the scope of crime in India has grown. The Indian government
is preparing a criminal procedure (identification) bill, 2022, which would deal
with the acquisition, analysis, and destruction of personal data based on the
And the NCRB is the single authority in charge of such information.
Although this is merely a bill at the moment, it has the potential to become
legislation that will have a significant impact on criminal justice system.
Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920
The Identification of Prisoners Act is a colonial law that allows for the
collection of identifiable information about certain people, such as convicts,
in order to conduct criminal investigations. Photographs, fingerprints, and foot
prints of an individual can be gathered under this act. Data can be gathered
from those who have been convicted of a crime punishable by a year or more in
jail or who have been compelled to give security for good behaviour or upholding
the peace under section 117 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Until now,
this law has been used to deal with the collecting of personally identifiable
Criminal Procedural Identification bill, 2022
The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs tabled the Criminal Procedural
Identification bill, 2022, in the Lok Sabha on March 8, 2022. The goal of this
measure is to use current technology to provide more effective and fast criminal
investigation. This measure broadens the scope of data collecting that can be
used to identify people. Biological and behavioural data can be collected under
this bill. Blood samples, hair samples, iris and retina scans, finger and foot
prints, and other biological samples are examples.
Signatures and handwritings
are examples of behavioural samples. These records can be kept in digital and
electronic form for 75 years from the date of acquisition, and they can also be
destroyed if the individual is found not guilty of any charges. Persons
convicted of an offence punishable under any law currently in force or ordered
to give security for his good behaviour or maintaining peace under section 117
of the code of criminal procedure, or persons arrested in connection with an
offence punishable under any law currently in force or detained under any
preventive detention, can provide data.
Need for the Bill
As time passes certain development takes place in society which creates threats
to old law, so law should be changed according to needs of society and
amendments are major spirit to the fulfillment of this spirit of constitution.
The objective behind this bill is to improve the conviction rate in India and to
protect the interest of crores of law abiding citizens.
Persons Authorised to collect data
For data security, this statute explicitly states that the data acquired can
only be handled by a limited number of persons. This statute allows police
officials who are in charge of a police station and have at least the level of
Sub inspector to gather information. A magistrate may order a person to provide
information for the purposes of a CRPC inquiry or procedure.
Role of National Crime Record Bureau
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is an Indian government body that
collects and analyses crime data as stipulated by the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
and Special and Local Laws (SLL). NCRB is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
of the Government of India and has its headquarters in New Delhi. The National
Crime Reporting Bureau (NCRB) was established in 1986 to serve as a storehouse
of information on crime and offenders to aid detectives in tying crimes to their
This bill establishes NCRB as the exclusive entity responsible for acquiring
information from the state government, the UT administration, and other law
enforcement authorities on people covered by the statute. The NCRB has the
authority to gather, process, and delete data. Processing and transmitting
information to law enforcement authorities based on relevant criminal records.
What are the concerns related to it?
Prior to the adoption of effective legislation, legitimate objections should be
expressed. As India lacks data protection legislation, this issue becomes much
more serious, as data might be exploited, for example, a sample could lead to a
Narco analysis. Some people have brought up the fact that it might be in
violation of Articles 14, 19, 20(3), and 21.
Justice is denied if it is delayed, 
Justice is buried if it is rushed.
The same may be said for legislation; if it is not well developed, it may have
negative consequences for society. As it supersedes the Identification of
Prisoners Act of 1920, the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill is an
excellent move. This act was not just from the colonial era, but it has also
proven unsuccessful in dealing with the contemporary situation. Although it is
still simply a bill, it has yet to be passed by parliament.
There have been
certain concerns made about this bill that need to be addressed correctly in
order for it to acquire societal approval. Some of the approaches to address
issues include properly defining the need for data and developing a full-proof
data protection strategy in order to increase openness and accountability. The
ministry of home affairs has acknowledged this requirement and is prepared to
address any issues presented.
Written By: Abhishek Singh Solanki
- William Edward Gladstone
- A student of B.A. LL.B. (Hons)