The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022, by voice vote. It seeks to repeal The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, and allow the collection, storage and analysis of physical and biological samples, including retina and iris scan of the convicted, arrested and detained persons
Home Minister Amit Shah said its sole objective was to improve the conviction rate in the country, protect the human rights of crores of law-abiding citizens and send a strong message in the society. It had not been brought for any misuse, he said.
Home Minister present her own stand basis of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, the overall conviction rate in murder cases was just 44%; 39% in rape cases; 24% in cases of attempted murder; 38% in robbery; and 29% in dacoity cases. Whereas, in the United Kingdom the average conviction rate was 83.6%, it was 68% in Canada, 82% in South Africa, 97% in Australia (2020-21) and about 93% in the United States.
All these countries were champions of human rights and had more stringent laws in place, he said.
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The Bill sought to equip the police with the necessary resources for securing convictions in the court. He said that through the proposed law he was implementing the “T” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for “SMART [Strict and Sensitive, Modern and Mobile, Alert and Accountable, Reliable and Responsive, Techno savvy and Trained]” policing in 2014.
During the debate on the Bill, the Opposition members expressed concern over the issue of data protection, possible misuse of the proposed law, violation of the citizen’s right to privacy and other fundamental rights. Mr. Shah assured them of a technology-driven foolproof mechanism to prevent any data leak or misuse. He said the data access would be query based.