Any kind of crime, police will be able to take biometric details
Under the old law, the police were allowed to collect physical identifiable data (length, weight, etc.) of a person convicted or accused of offenses punishable by at least one year’s rigorous imprisonment. The condition of rigorous imprisonment has been removed in the new law. Police can now collect details related to the identity of any person convicted of any crime. However, there is a condition for biological samples. Biological samples can be taken only in cases of crimes committed against women or children or in cases punishable by at least 7 years in jail.
Now the head constable will also be able to decide to take bio details
Under the old law, only an officer of at least the rank of sub-inspector could order physical measurements to be taken. However, now the head constable can take the biometric details.
NCRB will have safe records for 75 years
Under the old law, records relating to body measurements of prisoners were maintained by the states and union territories. But now these data will be kept at the central level. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will collect the details related to the identity of the culprits/accused from all law enforcement agencies including the police and keep them in digital format for 75 years. NCRB will also be responsible for maintaining, using and destroying all records.
Now records cannot be destroyed easily
Under the old law, if an accused was released without trial or acquitted after trial, his measurements and photographs were destroyed. Now the records will be destroyed only after the prisoner has used all the ‘legal weapons or options’. Suppose a person is acquitted by the court. Now if the acquittal order is challenged by the prosecution in a higher court, appeals against the verdict, then the biometric details of the accused will not be destroyed.
Biometric details are also collected in other countries
- Other large democracies also collect biometric details of suspects arrested or detained, even if they have not yet been convicted. In Britain, for example, police collect DNA samples from facial photographs, fingerprints, mouth swabs or hair on the head at the time of arrest. However, for blood and urine samples or dental impressions, British police are required to obtain permission from the suspect and a senior police officer.
- In the US, there is a slight difference between federal law and state law regarding biometric details. Under US federal law, DNA samples of convicts have been required since 2004. Not only the culprits, it is necessary to take DNA samples of every person arrested or accused against whom charge sheet has been filed. Not only this, refusing to give DNA samples is a crime in itself.
- For example, in Los Angeles, ‘fingerprints will be taken of all persons over the age of 14 who have been arrested (with or without warrant) for any crime’ or booked against .’ It is mandatory for suspects of serious crime to provide a DNA sample.
- In New York City, police take fingerprints of suspects at the police station and photograph them. In the state of Washington, the police have more powers. In cases where photographs or fingerprints are required, police officers may collect fingerprints and palm impressions, palm prints, toe prints, toe prints or other identification data at their discretion. .