Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022 – Infringement of Privacy The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill 2022, passed in Parliament is a blatant infringement of the right to privacy of the citizens. The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) takes strong exception to the anti-Constitutional Bill. The Bill empowers the police to collect biometric data with physical and biological samples of convicts, and those arrested or detained irrespective of the nature of the crime or offence. In the present laws, the Police are permitted to take finger and footprint impressions of a limited category of convicts and non-convicted persons. The Bill is a violation of Articles 20 and 21 of the Indian Constitution and is tantamount to “squeezing confession” from the arrested. The right to privacy is a fundamental right. This has been endorsed by the apex court in Justice KS Puttaswamy vs. Union of India case. Also, the Supreme Court’s decision in Selvi vs. State of Karnataka, 2010 prohibits the administration of Narco Analysis, Polygraph Test and Brain Mapping as being violative of Privacy. The present bill is contrary to these judgements as well. Further, the bill leads to the police misusing the law against their bete-noirs. The government’s stand not to acknowledge the proposal of the opposition to refer the Bill to a select committee exposes the real autocratic face of the present regime. The explanation of the Home Minister that “the provisions will be used only in the cases of heinous crimes” is just a formal window-dressing exercise to fool the people. The draconian UAPA that is now indiscriminately being abused to stifle the opposing voices too was introduced as a law to curb anti-national activities. The current Bill is nothing but another draconian law targetting the dissenters. SDPI appeals to the apex court to intervene and ensure that the government does not cross its limits while legislating laws, and the Constitutional guarantees and provisions are preserved.MK FaizyNational President Social Democratic Party of India