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MHA Notifies Rules for Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022: Set to Grant Cops Access to Biometric Data

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued rules for the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022, which empowers police and central investigating agencies to collect biometric data on people who have been convicted, arrested, or detained.

  • The law passed by Parliament in April 2022 took effect in August 2022, replacing the Identification of Prisoners Act of 1920.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which operates under the MHA, is required under the regulations to create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that specifies the devices and equipment that will be used to collect biometric data.


The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act of 2022 repeals the Identification of Prisoners Act of 1920, despite the fact that the rules do not specify convicted persons.

The old Act’s purview was restricted to taking fingerprints, footprints, and photographs of convicted prisoners as well as specific categories of people who were arrested and non-convicted persons on the order of a Magistrate.

Key Mandates:

i.According to the new rules, measurements of a person may be taken for Act-related purposes by an authorized user, a skilled measurement-taker, or a certified medical professional.

  • The term “measurements” refers to any examination referred to in Sections 53 or 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), including fingerprints, palm prints, foot prints, photographs, iris and retina scans, physical and biological samples and their analysis, behavioural indicators like signatures, handwriting, or any other examination.

ii.The rules require the NCRB to specify the format of the measurements, which can be digital or physical.

iii.According to instructions provided by the NCRB, States/Union Territories (UTs) must gather and store the data in a format that is compatible with the NCRB’s database.

  • The rules stipulate that destruction and disposal of records shall be specified in the SOP.

Some of the Rules of Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022

i.A person charged with violation of any prohibitory order issued under Section 144 or Section 145 or arrested under Section 151 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) shall not be taken unless such person is charged or arrested in connection with any other offence punishable.

  • Provided that the measurements of a person shall not be taken on the initiation of proceeding under Section 107 or Section 108 or Section 109 or Section 110 of CrPC unless such person has been ordered to give security for his good behaviour or maintaining peace.

ii.If any person who is required to allow the measurements to be taken under the Act resists or refuses to allow the taking of such measurements, the authorized user shall take the measurements in accordance with the provisions of sections 53 and 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

  • The rules suggested invoking sections of the CrPC used in rape or attempted rape cases for those who refuse to furnish biometric and other details.

iii.The measurements of a person arrested in connection with an offence under Chapter IXA or Chapter X of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) must be taken with the prior written approval of a police official not lower than the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP).

iv.Unauthorized access, distribution, or sharing of data collected under the Act is punishable under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Recent Related News:

i.The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government has launched the Village Defence Guards scheme(VDGS) 2022 after the approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs which is effective from 15th August 2022.

ii.The aim of the VDGS is to organise a small group of volunteer armed civilians in identified villages along the borders as well as in in-depth areas of the Jammu division, with a view to instill a sense of self-protection and ensure the safety and security of such villages, infrastructural installations in and around them, and to check the trans-border movement.

About Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA):

Union Minister – Amit Shah (Gandhi Nagar Constituency, Gujarat)
Minister of State (MoS) – Nityanand Rai; Ajay Kumar Mishra; Nisith Pramanik