The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 — which authorises police officers to take measurements of persons convicted, arrested or facing trial in criminal cases, including their iris and retina scans and even biological samples with exceptions, and store these for up to 75 years — shall come into force from Thursday. The rules under the Act, cleared by Parliament in April this year, are expected to be notified soon, said sources.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022, the central government hereby appoints August 4, 2022 as the date on which the said Act shall come into force,” said a home ministry notification issued on Wednesday. A senior government official said the rules under the Act are currently being vetted by the law ministry and may be notified soon.
The Act, while being discussed as a Bill in Parliament, had invited criticism from the opposition parties which alleged it violates an individual’s privacy and liberties. Replying to the opposition’s concerns, Union home minister Amit Shah had assured the rules for implementation of the proposed law would have safeguards against any misuse of the identification database and biological samples collected from convicts or those accused of crimes, by fixing accountability of those entrusted with safety of data. Shah, who defended the Bill against opposition’s charge of being intrusive and violative of the SC verdict on privacy, had said only designated people will have the code to access the data. He added those detained for apprehension of breach of peace and in connection with political protests, would be kept out of the purview of the Bill.