‘Unconstitutional’: Opposition parties raise voice against Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill

‘Unconstitutional’: Opposition parties raise voice against Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022, that seeks to authorise taking biometric measurements of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation in criminal matters, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Bill’s introduction was “vehemently” opposed by the Opposition parties. The Bill was introduced by Ajay Kumar Mishra, the Minister of State for Home.

Opposing the Bill, Congress MP Manish Tewari said that the move is in derogation of both Article 20, Sub-Article 3 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India. He added that the Bill was also beyond the legislative competence of the House.

Voicing his resentment, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: “I rise to vehemently oppose the introduction of the Bill. The law can ask those people who have been convicted by the court to give their biometric measurements. However, the present bill seeks to empower the police and court to take measurements of persons who are undertrial and who are suspected to be involved in a case or there is a presumption against a person that he may, in future, commit any illegal act.” He added, “This provision is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution, i.e., right to freedom and personal liberty.”

TMC member Sougata Ray said that an incorrect Bill had been brought before the House and therefore it would be inappropriate to introduce it. He requested Speaker Om Birla to not allow the introduction of the Bill.

RSP member NK Premachandran also requested the Speaker to not allow the government to introduce a Bill which is “violative” of the Constitution.

The Opposition also demanded a division on the leave to introduce the Bill in which 120 members voted in favour and 58 against.

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Author: Shirley