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HomeIndiaPIL in Delhi HC challenges Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022

PIL in Delhi HC challenges Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022

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By Sushil Batra

New Delhi [india], April 20 (ANI): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking a judicial review of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on April 4, 2022, in the Rajya Sabha on April 6, 2022, and received the assent of the President and was subsequently published in the Gazette of India (Extraordinary) on April 18 2022.

The petitioner Harshit Goel, seeking a judicial review of Sections 2(1)(a) (iii), 2(1) (b), 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the Act and prays for appropriate direction to declare the aforesaid provisions of the Act as unconstitutional and void.

The new act replaces the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 came into force on 09.09.1920. The Act earlier allowed the collection of finger and footprint impressions and photographs of a limited category of convicted and non-convicted persons.

The new introduced Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act now allows Police to collect finger impressions, palm prints impressions, footprint impressions, photographs, iris and retina scans, and physical and biological samples. It also permits the authorities to collect behavioural attributes including signatures, handwriting or any other examination referred under Section 53 or Section 53A of CrPC.

The plea moved through Advocates Yashwant Singh, Harshit Anand, Aman Naqvi submitted the fundamental right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 provides a shield to protect ‘bodily integrity and dignity’, and such protection extends to prisoners, undertrials, arrested persons, detainees in the course of investigation and persons in protection homes. Forcing an individual to part with his ‘measurements’ under the provisions of the Act violates the standard of ‘substantive due process’ which is required for restraining personal liberty.

The plea submitted that Sections 3 and 5 of the Act, in flagrant violation of the law laid down by the Supreme Court, allows excessive, coercive and arbitrary intrusion into the dignity of a convict as well as of an individual who may be called in for simple questioning, or who is involved in the pettiest of offences. These provisions constitute a clear attack on ‘personal liberty’ and clearly fall foul of Article 21 of the Constitution and are thus liable to be struck down.

The plea further submitted that Section 8 of the Act suffers from the vice of excessive delegation since the legislature has clearly abdicated its legislative function vide this Section. Section 8 allows the Central Government and the State Governments to frame rules regarding issues which are the subject matter of legislative policy without providing any guidance or framework on rule-making to the Executive.

While the provisions of the Act specifically and directly affect undertrials, arrestees, detainees under any preventive detention law and convicts, they also have grave consequences for every citizen of India as they aid citizen profiling and the creation of a surveillance state.

The aforesaid provisions of the Act and are therefore antithetical to individual freedom, equality, rule of law, democratic character of the Constitution and Directive Principles of State Policy, violate the basic structure of the Indian Constitution and are liable to be struck down as unconstitutional and void by this Court. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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